YEREVAN (Yerkir)–During her Senate confirmation hearing Monday–Ambassador-designate Anne Derse reiterated US policy for a peaceful–mutually acceptable resolution to the Karabagh conflict–stating that "a return to violence would be a tragedy."
Ambassador-designate Anne Derse responded that if confirmed–she will work toward expanding and strengthening US-Azerbaijan security cooperation and help promote democracy and governance.
She said a peaceful settlement to the Karabagh conflict is critical to achieving this goal and expressed hope that President of Armenia Robert Kocharian and President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev will work together on this issue. She further stated that as Co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Group–the US will also urge Armenia and Azerbaijan to remain engaged in the process and demonstrate political courage.
On the issue of democracy–Derse stressed the importance of a genuine effort by Azerbaijan to respect human rights in order to pursue democratic reform and ensure long-term political stability.