United States Patent and Trademark Office Organizes Workshop in Baku
Attorneys from the United States Patent and Trademark Office provided a two-day interactive trademark examination workshop in Baku on April 18-19 for participants from the State Committee for Standardizations, Metrology and Patents. The workshop shared best practices for registering and protecting trademarks. Strengthening trademark protection is an important factor in encouraging entrepreneurship, innovation, and investment. The workshop is one example of how the United States supports Azerbaijan’s efforts to create a favorable business and investment climate.
The United States welcomes as another positive step Azerbaijan’s decision to allow human rights activist Leyla Yunus and historian Arif Yunus to travel abroad for urgent medical care.
We firmly believe that expanding freedom of expression and political participation will do much to strengthen Azerbaijan as well as our bilateral relationship. We encourage the government to take additional steps and unconditionally release all individuals who have been incarcerated for exercising their fundamental freedoms. »
The United States Embassy in Azerbaijan is pleased to announce that Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs Kurt Tong is visiting Azerbaijan April 14 – 15, 2016. As the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs, Mr. Tong supports the State Department’s global economic diplomacy efforts, engaging with partners around the world on trade, finance, telecommunications, transportation, economic sanctions, commercial opportunities, and a host of other issues. Mr. Tong has served in this position since July of 2014.
Mr. Tong will meet with Azerbaijani government officials, both Azerbaijani and American businesses in Baku, and Azerbaijani university students to hear firsthand about Azerbaijan’s economic situation, reforms, and diversification efforts. He looks forward to discussing how the United States government is assisting Azerbaijan’s economic growth, and how that assistance can be improved. This will be Mr. Tong’s first trip to Azerbaijan. »
STATEMENT BY SECRETARY KERRY: United States Condemns Ceasefire Violations Along Nagorno-Karabakh Line of Contact
Washington, DC, April 2, 2016
The United States condemns in the strongest terms the large-scale ceasefire violations along the Nagorno-Karabakh Line of Contact, which have resulted in a number of reported casualties, including civilians. We extend our condolences to all affected families. We urge the sides to show restraint, avoid further escalation, and strictly adhere to the ceasefire. The unstable situation on the ground demonstrates why the sides must enter into an immediate negotiation under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs on a comprehensive settlement of the conflict.
We reiterate that there is no military solution to the conflict. As a co-chair country, the United States is firmly committed to working with the sides to reach a lasting and negotiated peace.- Full statement »
MOSCOW/WASHINGTON/PARIS, 2 April, 2016
The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group (Ambassadors Igor Popov of the Russian Federation, James Warlick of the United States of America, and Pierre Andrieu of France) express grave concern over the reported large-scale ceasefire violations that are taking place along the Line of Contact in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone. We strongly condemn the use of force and regret the senseless loss of life, including civilians.
The Co-Chairs call upon the sides to stop shooting and take all necessary measures to stabilize the situation on the ground. They reiterate that there is no alternative to a peaceful negotiated solution of the conflict and that war is not an option. »
Vice President Biden’s Meeting with President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan
Vice President Biden met today with President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev on the margins of the Nuclear Security Summit. The leaders discussed cooperation on security issues, including counterterrorism, and the importance of the Southern Gas Corridor to boosting European energy security. The Vice President welcomed the recent releases from prison of human rights and civil society activists and encouraged continued progress, underscoring the importance of civil society and rule of law to Azerbaijan's economic prosperity and development. Addressing the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the Vice President expressed concern about continued violence, called for dialogue, and emphasized the importance of a comprehensive settlement for the long-term stability, security, and prosperity of the region.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met today in Washington with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev to discuss a range of bilateral and regional issues. Secretary Kerry commended Azerbaijan’s role in European energy security as a leader in developing the Southern Gas Corridor. He expressed U.S. support for Azerbaijan’s efforts to become a regional trade hub. Secretary Kerry also thanked President Aliyev for Azerbaijan’s contributions to NATO’s mission in Afghanistan, its support for peacekeeping operations, and its important counterterrorism role. On democracy and human rights issues, Secretary Kerry welcomed Azerbaijan’s recent positive steps and urged further progress.
The two also discussed efforts to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Secretary Kerry affirmed U.S. support for Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and underscored our concern about violence along the Line of Contact and the international border. He emphasized our commitment to working with the sides to reach a comprehensive settlement based on the principles of international law, the UN Charter, and the Helsinki Final Act. »
Statement by State Department's spokesperson John Kirby on release of Azerbaijani Human Rights Lawyer Intigam Aliyev
The United States welcomes today’s decision by the Supreme Court of Azerbaijan to conditionally release human rights lawyer Intigam Aliyev. This follows the March 17 release of more than a dozen other individuals. We urge the government to release other individuals who have been incarcerated for exercising their fundamental freedoms and to end restrictions on the movement of those released, and we look forward to working with the Azerbaijani government on additional positive steps. »
Statement by State Department's spokesperson John Kirby on release of Activists, Journalists, and Political Party Members in Azerbaijan
The United States welcomes the positive step by the Government of Azerbaijan to release more than a dozen individuals incarcerated for their work on human rights or for their exercise of fundamental freedoms.
Those released today include Rasul Jafarov, a prominent human rights defender; Anar Mammadli, chairman of the Election Monitoring and Democratic Studies Center; Hilal Mammadov, editor-in-chief of a newspaper for the Talysh ethnic minority; and Tofig Yogublu, the Deputy Chairman of the opposition Musavat party. Journalist and peace activist Rauf Mirkadirov was also provided conditional release.
We look forward to working with Azerbaijan on additional positive steps. We also urge the government to release the remaining individuals widely considered to have been incarcerated for exercising similar freedoms and to end restrictions placed on the movement of those released. »
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you! Thank you so much. Well, good morning, everybody. I was in the neighborhood, so I thought I'd stop by. Actually, you’re in the neighborhood. So I appreciate you for stopping by. I see a lot of friends and familiar faces. I have visited a lot of the countries where you are serving. I want to thank you once again for putting up with me when I show up, because it’s a lot of work. I know my visits are not easy. And your teams do extraordinary work in making sure that our visits are a success -- and I am deeply grateful for that. And when I depart, I am sure that you guys have big wheels up parties. (Laughter.) I’m confident about that. Full speech »
"Good morning, everybody. In our fight against terrorists like al Qaeda and ISIL, we are using every element of our national power -- our military; intelligence; diplomacy; homeland security; law enforcement, federal, state and local; as well as the example of our ideals as a country that’s committed to universal values, including rule of law and human rights. In this fight, we learn and we work to constantly improve. When we find something that works, we keep on doing it. When it becomes clear that something is not working as intended -- when it does not advance our security -- we have to change course.
For many years, it’s been clear that the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay does not advance our national security -- it undermines it. This is not just my opinion. This is the opinion of experts, this is the opinion of many in our military. It’s counterproductive to our fight against terrorists, because they use it as propaganda in their efforts to recruit. It drains military resources, with nearly $450 million spent last year alone to keep it running, and more than $200 million in additional costs needed to keep it open going forward for less than 100 detainees. Guantanamo harms our partnerships with allies and other countries whose cooperation we need against terrorism. When I talk to other world leaders, they bring up the fact that Guantanamo is not resolved..." Full speech »
THE WHITE HOUSE: Readout of the President’s Call with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey
The President spoke today by phone with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan about the situation in Syria and U.S.-Turkish cooperation in the fight against terrorism. The President condemned and offered condolences for the February 17 terrorist attack in Ankara, which killed and wounded both military personnel and civilians, and the February 18 terrorist attack against a Turkish military convoy in Diyarbakir Province. President Obama expressed concern about recent Syrian regime advances in northwest Syria and urgently called for a halt to actions that heighten tensions with Turkey and with moderate opposition forces in northern Syria, and undermine our collective efforts in northern Syria to degrade and defeat ISIL. President Obama stressed that YPG forces should not seek to exploit circumstances in this area to seize additional territory, and urged Turkey to show reciprocal restraint by ceasing artillery strikes in the area. He emphasized the unwavering commitment of the United States to Turkey’s national security as a NATO Ally. The two leaders expressed their support for the understanding reached in Munich last week on the cessation of hostilities in Syria and called on Russia and the Assad regime to halt airstrikes against moderate opposition forces. The leaders pledged to deepen cooperation in the fight against all forms of terrorism, including the PKK, and reiterated their shared goal of degrading and ultimately destroying ISIL.
"I am really happy to be back in Munich and I’m very happy to share thoughts with this, the 52nd edition of the Security Conference.
And I think if you all think back, 1963, the first year of the Munich Security Conference, this forum has always been about the pursuit of peace. And back then, here in Germany as elsewhere, the Cold War actually felt pretty hot. The wall was a concrete indication of a new reality. Barbed wire was strung across the heart of the country – indeed the heart of Europe. And that was the year that President Kennedy spoke at Rudolph Wilde Platz, and said to all who doubted the courage and resolve of free people: “Let them come to Berlin.”
Many of us here remember the starkness of that period of time very, very well. I was a kid. My dad was the legal advisor to the high commissioner of Germany in Berlin, then James Conant. And I was privileged to be dumped off at a school in Switzerland. I didn’t know where I was at age 11 or 12. And I saw firsthand what Europe was like in those years emerging from the war. Everything you talked about was the war and the remnants of the war. I used to ride my bike down Kurfurstendamm and see the church and the steeple and the burned our Reichstag. So I knew very well what that was about..." »
"Meeting in Munich on February 11 & 12, 2016, as the International Syria Support Group (ISSG), the Arab League, China, Egypt, the EU, France, Germany, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United Nations, and the United States decided that humanitarian access will commence this week to besieged areas, and an ISSG task force will within one week elaborate modalities for a nationwide cessation of hostilities...." Full statement »
Condolences for Attempted Suicide Near U.S. Embassy
We are saddened by the attempted suicide near the U.S. Embassy this evening. Our thoughts and condolences are with the victim and their loved ones. We do not have any further information at this time and will defer to local authorities for further updates.
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OSCE Minsk Group
The Minsk Group spearheads the OSCE's efforts to find a political solution to the conflict in and around Nagorno-Karabakh involving Armenia and Azerbaijan. It is co-chaired by France, the Russian Federation and the United States.