The United States is ready to help intensify diplomatic engagement between Armenia and Azerbaijan, President Joe Biden said in a letter to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, the Azerbaijani Azertac state news agency reported.
“Now is also a moment of hope with an important opportunity to build lasting peace in the South Caucasus. The United States is ready to help intensify diplomatic engagement between Azerbaijan and Armenia and to help Azerbaijan develop the economic, transportation, and people-to-people connections that will enable the entire Caucasus and trans-Caspian region to prosper,” Biden said.
Biden also noted that the United States encourages Azerbaijan to take “meaningful” steps towards democratic governance.
“We continue to encourage Azerbaijan to take meaningful steps toward democratic governance and reforms that protect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Azerbaijanis,” Biden said in the letter of congratulation to Aliyev on Azerbaijan’s Independence Day.
State Department spokesperson Ned Price made a similar statement signaling U.S.’ readiness to assist Armenia and Azerbaijan in the normalization of relations, including in its capacity as a co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group.
“We very much welcome the dialogue between Armenia and Azerbaijan. We remain committed to promoting a peaceful, democratic, and prosperous future for the South Caucasus region as part of that,” Price said at a press briefing.
“We do urge this dialogue to continue and for the parties to intensify their diplomatic engagements to make use of existing mechanisms for direct engagement, and in an effort to find comprehensive solutions to all outstanding issues related to and resulting from the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and – to normalize their relations through the conclusion of a comprehensive peace agreement. We are there to support this process. We remain ready to assist Armenia and Azerbaijan with these efforts, including in our capacity as a co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group,” Price said when asked by a reporter on the US State Department’s expectations of the current ongoing negotiations process.