US sees ‘real opportunity’ for Armenia and Azerbaijan to make peace

The US sees a real opportunity for Azerbaijan and Armenia to make peace, Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs James O’Brien told reporters ahead of Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s travel to Brussels to attend NATO Foreign Ministers meeting.

“We’re encouraged that the two sides are speaking with one another directly and with mediators.  And with that, we see a real opportunity for the entire region to benefit,” the Assistant Secretary said.

“For example, if trade from Central Asia is able to flow through Azerbaijan and Armenia into Turkey, then it would be a substantial boost for all the countries on that trade route.  And we’d welcome the opportunity to be part of that,” the diplomat noted.

“At the same time, if the decision is made not to pursue that by peaceful means, then we would have to use whatever tools we could to avoid having that kind of trade route created.  So we’ve been very clear with the parties about what we hope to see and about the consequences of moving forward otherwise.  So we’ll look forward to seeing where the parties come out.  We know they’ve expressed an interest in concluding a peace agreement very soon, and we would love to see that happen,” James O’Brien said.

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