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  • Cekuta Credentials

    Ambassador Cekuta Presents his credentials

    Ambassador Cekuta presented his credentials to President Aliyev today. He is now looking forward to meeting with and hearing from Azerbaijanis from all aspects of society.

  • Ambassador Cekuta's Arrival Remarks

    Ambassador Cekuta's Arrival Remarks

    "I am extremely happy to have arrived in Baku today. My wife will arrive soon and we very much look forward to our time in Azerbaijan..."

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  • Cekuta swearing-in ceremony

    New Ambassador sworn in

    Robert Cekuta sworn in as next U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan at the Department of State in Washington D.C. February 9, 2015.

Headlines

Embassy Highlights

  • Ambassador Cekuta congratulated SilkWay and Boeing upon the signing of a purchase agreement for three 747 cargo planes worth over $1 billion.

    He said the new planes will support the development of Azerbaijan’s aviation and transportation sectors and will help bolster the diversification of Azerbaijan’s economy and it's aspiration to become a transit hub. Ambassador Cekuta highlighted that the purchase is yet another demonstration of the growing commercial partnership between the United States and Azerbaijan and said he looks forward to working with Azerbaijani companies like AZAL and SilkWay to explore new commercial relationships and boost our economic cooperation.  

  • Baku Trip Summary: Assistant Secretary Nuland, February 16-17, 2015

    From February 16 to 17, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland led a joint civilian-military delegation to Baku, Azerbaijan to meet with senior Azerbaijani government officials and civil society representatives to discuss a broad range of bilateral and regional issues. Speaking with media on February 17, Assistant Secretary Nuland said, “I had a very good, frank, candid meeting with President Aliyev and Foreign Minister Mammadyarov and the National Security advisor this morning. I then had a chance to sit with civil society. In both of those meetings, our message was strong and clear that the United States very much values our 20 year-plus partnership with Azerbaijan, that we want to see the strongest, most democratic, and independent Azerbaijan possible”. Assistant Secretary Nuland said the United States wants “to continue the strong work we’ve done together over the years in the three traditional areas of security, economics and energy, and in strengthening and promoting the strongest possible democracy in Azerbaijan”...  More info »

  • Advisory Council. Mr. Hochstein
    U.S. Special Envoy Amos Hochstein participates in the first Southern Gas Corridor Project’s Advisory Council

    U.S. Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs, Amos Hochstein, participates in the first Southern Gas Corridor Project’s Advisory Council. Mr. Hochstein also held fruitful meetings with President Aliyev, where they discussed prospects for expanded U.S.-Azerbaijani cooperation in energy, transportation, and other areas. 

  • Department Spokesperson Discusses President Obama’s Interview on Ukraine

    Former President Yanukovych abdicated his responsibilities by fleeing Kyiv during a political crisis. He was then voted out of power by a near-unanimous vote of the Rada, including virtually all members of his own party. He had lost legitimacy and Ukraine’s lawmakers in the Rada fulfilled their obligation to the people by maintaining unity and preserving a democratic government until President Poroshenko was elected on May 25th in elections that werelargely in line with Ukraine’s international commitments and done with a respect for fundamental freedoms in the vast majority of the country.

    It is no secret that we worked with the government of Ukraine, the opposition, and with other stakeholders to put Ukraine back on track toward fulfilling the aspirations of the people of Ukraine for democracy, respect for human rights, European integration and long-term economic growth. Other countries worked towards this goal as well, and Russia was at the table for the discussions. For example, on February 21, 2014 the Foreign Ministers of France, Germany and Poland, as well as a representative of the Russian Federation, witnessed an agreement between former President Yanukovych and the opposition leadership that laid out a peaceful way forward.   More info... »

  • Ambassador Cekuta will arrive in Baku on February 12, 2015
    Ambassador Cekuta will arrive in Baku on February 12, 2015

    We are pleased to announce that Ambassador Cekuta will arrive in Baku on February 12, 2015. More details will be made available in the near future so stay tuned! 

  • FY 2014 Fiscal Transparency Report

    On January 14, the Secretary of State released the FY 2014 Fiscal Transparency Report. The Report assesses whether governments that receive U.S. assistance meet minimum requirements of fiscal transparency. The Department's assessments evaluate the substantial completeness, reliability, and public availability of budget documents, as well as the transparency of natural resource extraction contracting and license procedures. The Report is required by Section 7031(b) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2014. The Report examines governments receiving bilateral allocations of assistance under the Act. The Report can be found on the Department's website.

    Fiscal transparency is a critical element of effective public financial management, helps in building market confidence, and sets the stage for economic sustainability. Transparency also provides a window into government budgets for citizens of any country, helping them to hold their leadership accountable.

    Reviews of the fiscal transparency of governments that receive U.S. assistance help to ensure that U.S. taxpayer money is used appropriately and to sustain a dialogue with governments to improve their fiscal performance, leading to greater macroeconomic stability and better development outcomes.    »

  • U.S. Statement on Increased Violence on Line of Conflict

    We are troubled by reports of ceasefire violations, as well as casualties in recent days. These incidents do not correspond to the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents’ commitments to reach a peaceful resolution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. As an OSCE Minsk Group co-chair country, we do continue to urge both sides at the highest levels to engage in negotiations that could lead to a peace agreement and adopt measures to reduce the likelihood of such events along the line of contact and along the border. 

  • U.S. State Department’s Spokesperson statement on RFE/RL

    We are alarmed by the Government of Azerbaijan’s crackdown on civil society. The Secretary raised our concerns in his December 21st phone call with President Aliyev. Since then, we have seen the closure of RFE/RL’s offices, the seizure of its property, and RFE/RL employees forcibly taken from their homes for questioning by local law enforcement on unspecified charges. Contractors and others tangentially connected to RFE/RL are also being interrogated by authorities. These actions, along with the denial of access to legal counsel during these interrogations, is further cause for concern. We call again on Azerbaijani authorities to adhere to their OSCE and other international commitments to uphold human rights and basic freedoms, including freedom of the press. In this regard, President Aliyev’s decision today to pardon 87 individuals, including 10 considered to have been imprisoned for civic activism, is a step in the right direction. We urge Azerbaijan’s authorities to build on these pardons by releasing others incarcerated in connection with exercising their fundamental freedoms. 

  • Embassy Offers Condolences to Those Involved in December 28 Accident

    The U.S. Embassy expresses our sincere condolences to the families of those involved in the tragic accident that occurred outside the embassy compound on December 28. We are offering our full cooperation with Azerbaijani authorities and wish a full recovery for the injured and peace for the deceased. 

  • Embassy Statement on RFE/RL Closure

    We are concerned by reports that employees of the RFE/RL bureau in Baku were detained in their offices and questioned while the premises were searched by law enforcement. The reasons for the questioning and search are unclear. We call on the responsible authorities to conduct a transparent investigation in keeping with the law and Azerbaijan's international commitment to protecting media freedom. We hope that Azerbaijani authorities share our conviction that a free and independent press is critical to the well-being of the nation and will act in accordance with that belief. 

  • State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki Expresses Concern over Detention of Journalist Khadija Ismailova

    We’re very concerned by the arrest and pretrial detention of Azerbaijani journalist Khadija Ismayilova. We’re deeply troubled by increased restrictions on civil society activities, including on journalists, in Azerbaijan. We are increasingly concerned that the government is not living up to its international human rights commitments and obligations. We urge the Government of Azerbaijan to respect the universal rights of its citizens and allow them to freely express their views. Azerbaijan will be best able to ensure its future stability and prosperity by allowing a more open society.” We have raised the increased restrictions on civil society and freedom of press at multiple levels in both Washington and abroad with the Government of Azerbaijan officials.  

  • USOSCE: Response to OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović

    "The United States warmly welcomes OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović to the Permanent Council. Thank you for your comprehensive report. As you noted, journalists in the OSCE region continue to be subject to acts of violence, and we’ve seen that impunity for murders and other attacks is all too common. In addition, we share your concern about efforts to place increased limits and restrictions on independent media outlets within the OSCE region..."  Full statement »

  • Press Statement by the Minsk Group Co-Chairs

    "The Minsk Group Co-Chairs (Ambassadors Igor Popov of the Russian Federation, James Warlick of the United States, and Pierre Andrieu of France) express our very serious concern about the downing of a helicopter near the Line of Contact and the recent violence. We regret the loss of life and express our condolences to the families.

    The Co-Chairs are deeply worried by the events that prompted this drastic incident, the first of its kind since the ceasefire agreement was reached. We strongly appeal to the sides to avoid steps that would escalate tension along the Line of Contact and Armenia-Azerbaijan border. The region cannot afford another round of violence like we witnessed this summer..."  Full statement »

  • US Embassy Welcomes Government Steps

    The U.S. Embassy in Azerbaijan welcomes the Government of Azerbaijan’s October 17 pardon and release of four civil society activists and its October 22 resumption of the Joint Working Group on Human Rights Issues. We hope these encouraging steps will lead to additional positive developments, including the easing of growing restrictions on the activities of local and international NGOs. We share Azerbaijan’s desire for a stable, secure, and prosperous future and remain convinced that the best way to achieve this goal is to guarantee the rights of all citizens to exercise the fundamental freedoms to which they are entitled under Azerbaijan’s international obligations. 

  • State Department's Press Statement on Detention of Human Rights Defender Leyla Yunus

    "The United States is alarmed that human rights defender Leyla Yunus remains in pre-trial detention in Azerbaijan, without access to necessary medical care, despite her deteriorating health. We are also especially concerned about continued threats to Leyla Yunus’ physical security. On humanitarian grounds, we urge the Government of Azerbaijan to immediately grant Leyla Yunus access to independent medical evaluation and care, security, and improved conditions. We also urge the Government of Azerbaijan to respect the rule of law and to release those incarcerated for exercising fundamental freedoms, starting with those with serious medical conditions. This would include Leyla and her husband Arif, whose deteriorating health make their release particularly urgent. It is in Azerbaijan’s interest to ensure that its citizens are afforded the dignity, human rights, and fundamental freedoms to which all citizens are entitled under Azerbaijan’s international obligations".   »

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OSCE Minsk Group

  • 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.