The Azerbaijani authorities do not consider it possible to participate in the meeting of the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia in Washington on November 20, citing the “unilateral position of the United States.”
Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry made the statement after the hearings held on November 15 in the Foreign Affairs Committee of the US House of Representatives.
Baku called the hearings and the statements made during the event, including by Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs James O’Brien, “a blow to relations between Azerbaijan and the United States in bilateral and multilateral formats.”
“Such a unilateral approach by the United States could lead to the loss of their role as a mediator. It is important to note that in such conditions we do not consider it possible to hold the proposed meeting at the level of the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia in Washington November 20, 2023,” the Foreign Ministry said in a commentary.
During the hearings on the “Future on Nagorno Karabakh” on Wednesday, Ambassador James O’Brien, Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, told House Foreign Affairs Committee members “we have not and don’t anticipate submitting a waiver on [Section ] 907,” referencing the 1992 U.S. law that restricts U.S. aid to Azerbaijan based on its ongoing aggression against Armenia and Artsakh.
Speaking of the 100,000 Armenian refugees “uprooted” from Artsakh, Amb. O’Brien told Congress “we insist on the people having complete access to the territory, on the protection of the property, the protection of the culture, and that the people receive adequate information so that they can make a real choice about their future and know that they have the viable opportunity to return and live well in Nagorno-Karabakh if that’s what they choose.”
Instead of clearly condemning Azerbaijan’s ethnic cleansing of Artsakh, Amb. O’Brien announced that the State Department has commissioned independent investigators, and is working with international partners to provide “a comprehensive, thorough, and transparent record of what happened, not just on those days, but for the months before.” No timeline was announced for the presentation of the report.