Bryza Criticizes US Policy on Karabakh

Former US Ambassador to Baku Matthew Bryza

WASHINGTON—Former US Ambassador to Azerbaijan Matthew Bryza last week criticized President Obama’s policy on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict saying the administration has spent more time on Turkey-Armenia normalization to the detriment of the Karabakh conflict.

“Washington lost its way in the last couple of years,” said Bryza, expressing his criticism while speaking last week at the Jamestown Foundation.

Bryza said that the Obama administration had spent all its energy on the normalization of ties between Turkey and Armenia and did not show any effort for progress in the negotiations on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. He asserted that normalization between Turkey and Armenia would not possible without progress in the Karabakh conflict.

“This [Turkey-Armenia] normalization would be great if it’s achievable. But it’s not achievable and plus it negatively influences Nagorno-Karabakh peace process,” he said adding adding, “No matter how much we wanted Armenia-Turkey rapprochement, instead we’ve got nothing”.

“Had we put all of our eggs into a solution to Nagorno-Karabakh, we could have achieved both. Instead, we got nothing,” Bryza stated.

Bryza took it upon himself to ensure that Azerbaijan would not initiate any military confrontation. However, if “the ice [over the negotiation process] does not break,” the possibilities for such a confrontation would increase.

Bryza also pointed to the lack of trust between Armenia and Azerbaijan. In his “that trust isn’t going to come until the US leads it.”

Since leaving office in January, Bryza has lived in Istanbul and is the director of the Tallinn, Estonia-based International Center for Defense Studies. He has also taken to the interview circuit, telling primarily the Turkish media that Turkey-Armenia normalizations should have been preconditioned on Karabakh peace and blaming the Armenian lobby in the US—especially the Armenian National Committee of America—for undermining his nomination and prospects of returning to Baku as the top US diplomat.


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  1. gaytzag palandjian said:

    Mr. Bryza´s viewpoints are very much in line with Mr. Erdogan´s-No wonder he, or latter have not achieved any success in their otheerwise negative efforts. The real approach would be exactly the opposite of what he is proposing. Turkey has to give in as rgds Armenian Genocide recognition/restitutions,not condition NK solution upon this option.Actually Armenians´ main issue is Genocide recognition by Turkey and reparations of latter.NK is being intentionally either tied up with Genocide issue ,thus overshadowing latter MAIN ISSUE.Armenians´Trauma will continue-has been passed down-from generation to generation untill a JUST solution.

  2. Samvel Jeshmaridian, PhD said:

    Mr. Bryza
    Good for You.
    ANCA has done the right thing.
    The way You criticize US President Obama is right.
    I know that You know more but claim very little. You again are right!

  3. Stefan said:

    True to his nature, still barking his love and loyalty to turkey & azerbajian…

  4. Arman said:

    Yes, you are correct Mr. Bryza, normalization of relations is not achievable until Turkey is brought to JUSTICE for the Armenian Genocide.

  5. Alex Postallian said:

    Do you have to publicize the rantings of a psuedo statesmen who dishonored his position,for graft,and turned coat,weakening the U.S. position in the Near East,who has little or no creditability..Its like asking Al Capone,to teach a Sunday School Class on non violence.

  6. kevo said:

    “This [Turkey-Armenia] normalization would be great if it’s achievable. But it’s not achievable….”
    The same as Artsakh is Armenian and the reoccupation by Azerbaijan is “not achievable.”
    Just understand that Matty and you can stop messing up your pretty hair with all your head scratching.

    “No matter how much we wanted Armenia-Turkey rapprochement, instead we’ve got nothing .”
    No Matty, you’ve got nothing. While we are making inroads to reclaim stolen property i.e. Churches and monasteries in occupied Western Armenia, we have status quo in Artsakh , which means we have what is ours….

    ….Hostilities? Are you joking? Azeri aggression started the war, Azeri snipers kill and maim regularly
    and often, and Aliyev threatens to seek a military solution for his internal problems.

  7. Diran said:

    “Had we put all of our eggs into a solution to Nagorno-Karabakh, we could have achieved both. Instead, we got nothing,” Bryza stated. Very nice. In other words, only if we carried out to the letter what Turkey wanted us to do with Karabagh would it consider re-engaging in the normalization. Therefore any further time spent on normalization is wasted effort.

  8. Hrant K. said:

    Matthew Bryza, it is Erdogan you should blame, (not the US adm.), who was influenced by Aliev ,
    to put a precondition of the Artsakh issue, before moving on to the Miserable Protocols’ Ratification!
    In any case the real intensions of the Neo-Ottomans have been clarified by demolishing the Friendship statue at Kars ordered by Erdogan himself, and the 2000 and more ceasefire violations of the azeri side have potrayed their hidden, malicious intentions ! As for blaming the ANCA, for denying you the ambassadorship in Baku-had you been
    not influenced by your “lovely” wife, i.e. your partiality towards azerbaijan and turkey is to be blamed, as if you
    didn’t know, that the ANCA wasn’t a Charity Union?!?!?! Well, that shows, that if we Armenians get our acts
    together, not a NATO (backstabber) member, nor multi-billion Caspian Petro-Dollars’ pressures could stand in the way of a handful patriotic ArmenianAmericans!!! Might is not always right, brains and stubborn resolve can make a
    difference…! And it’s crystal clear how you have created enemies, by your misconduct! Wise people usually learn from their our mistakes, I don’t know about you?!

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