13 April 2024 / 14:52 RU

    U.S. Seeks To Take Up Fresh Karabakh Talks, As Blinken Heads to Europe, Turkey

    The United States is 'exploring' whether it can bring Azerbaijani and Armenian officials together in the coming days for fresh talks in a bid to bridge their divides, TURAN's Washington correspondent was informed by diplomatic sources. No further details have been determined yet, the source added.

    Karen Donfried, the top U.S. diplomat in charge of Europe and Eurasia on Wednesday spoke with Azerbaijan's Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov for the second time in less than a week. There is no readout of the call from the U.S. side.

    The move comes as Antony Blinken, the U.S. Secretary of State, is headed to Europe today to attend the Munich Security Conference, where he will participate in a series of bilateral and multilateral meetings to discuss continued support for Ukraine, assistance to Türkiye and the Syrian people, and, as the State Department put it, "our commitment to transatlantic security and a rules-based international order."

    Both Azerbaijani and Armenian top diplomats, as well as Armenia's Prime minister Nikol Pashinyan, are slated to attend the Munich Security Conference, according to diplomatic sources. The State Department officials on Wednesday refrained from detailing Blinken's meetings in Munich.

    Blinken will also visit Türkiye on February 19 to see firsthand U.S. efforts to assist the Turkish authorities responding to the devastation caused by the Feb 6 earthquakes, and to discuss ways to further strengthen partnership with Türkiye as a valued NATO Ally, the Department said. Blinken's last stop will be Greece where he will hold a strategic dialogue with senior officials in Athens.

    Separately on Tuesday, Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan made a historic visit to Turkey following the brief opening of the Armenia-Turkey border for the first time in three decades. “I consider it symbolic that on Saturday the Armenian-Turkish border, which has been closed for 30 years, was opened for Armenian trucks loaded with humanitarian aid heading to Adiyaman,” Mirzoyan said during a joint press conference with Turkish counterpart Cavusoglu.

    In Washington, TURAN's correspondent asked State Department spokesperson Ned Price during a daily briefing about Mirzoyan's Turkey trip, and its implications for the peace efforts in the region.

    "I will leave it to those two governments to speak to their engagement. Our message to both Armenia and Azerbaijan, to the parties themselves, but also to the entire region is the need to find a way to de-escalate tensions to put this back on a path towards a comprehensive and lasting peace" Price said in response.

    He went on to add, "We have been engaged in that effort; we’ve been engaged in that effort bilaterally, we’ve been engaged in that effort multilaterally, and we’ll continue to do everything we can as the United States directly with the parties, through multilateral institutions and groupings, to advance that cause.  It is our hope that other countries will send precisely the same message, but I’m not in a position to speak to the messages that other countries are sending."

    Asked about the role of "earthquake diplomacy" Price said the followings:

    "We certainly welcome countries around the world stepping up and showing up for the people of Türkiye, for the people of Syria who have been devastated by these massive earthquakes that struck on February 6th. A number of countries have demonstrated a generosity of spirit that will be necessary if we are going to be able to address the full consequences and implications of these massive earthquakes.The United States has attempted to lead by example."

    So far, Washington has announced $85 million in support from the U.S. Government to the response in Türkiye and in Syria, Price reminded. During his trip to Türkiye, Blinken will have an opportunity while there to witness some of what the U.S. Government is doing. "And I think he’ll also be in a position to speak to what more the United States will be prepared to do for our Turkish allies and for the people of Syria in the days to come," Price concluded.

    Alex Raufoglu

    Source - Turan.az


    17 February 2023 / 10:59