Outgoing US Ambassador Holds Final Press Conference

Outgoing US Ambassador to Armenia John Heffern


YEREVAN (PanArmenian)—The outgoing US Ambassador to Armenia John Heffern reiterated Friday that there is no military solution to the long-running Artsakh conflict.

Speaking at a farewell news conference in Yerevan he said he must repeat the statements by the OSCE Minsk Group that the Artsakh conflict has no military solution, and the only one way to settle it is through peace talks.

However, he stressed that the OSCE Minsk Group is acting as a peace broker and cannot impose a solution on the parties to the conflict.

“By and large, it all depends on the conflict parties themselves,” said the diplomat.

According to him, the US hopes that the strategic South Caucasus region will sooner or later become open, and that Washington, for its part, is ready to help resolve the conflict and open borders.

He said the U.S. wants to help Armenia to become a strategically important country with new possibilities and alternatives. According to him, the US and EU are willing to deepen cooperation with Armenia in any sphere where Armenia will demonstrate political will.

According to him, even though Armenia is a member of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), it also effectively cooperates with NATO and is willing to continue cooperation with the West on mutually beneficial terms, which is natural, “because there are no winners and losers.”

He stressed that Washington will continue helping Armenia to build democracy and strengthen human rights, rule of law and free media.

The outgoing envoy also commented on the lack of progress in Armenia-Turkey reconciliation.

He said during his tenure in Armenia his biggest disappointment was about the Armenian-Turkish protocols.

The envoy said they expected that the protocols would be ratified resulting in the opening of the border and establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. But the lack of progress is disappointing, he said.

At the same time, the ambassador said, the US will continue supporting the Yerevan-Ankara reconciliation.

Azerbaijan is a very important partner for the US, Heffern said.

“We are working closely with Azerbaijan in a number of areas,” he said, brining Afghanistan as an example.

Heffern added that Azerbaijan is crucially important in terms of cooperation in the energy sector – the delivery of natural gas and oil to Southern Europe.

He further said Azerbaijan is also important in terms of building relations with Iran.

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6 Comments

  1. Hratch said:

    Sir, the only solution is to have Mother Russia stop arming the enemy, and then maybe they will abandon their aggressive posture. As long as they can purchase weapons, they will continue to defy international pressure. There is a simple solution – but this solution is contrary to the bear’s agenda. The bear wants to continue the status quo by making sure no side is comfortable enough to challenge their hegemony of the region.

  2. Norin said:

    “Azerbaijan is important for building relations with Iran.”

    TRANSLATED:

    “Azerbaijan is important for launching CIA and MOSSAD operations against the current Iranian government until we topple them. Then after that we will activate the 20 million Azeri Iranians into another arab spring and make way for BP to fly in like a vulture to siphon all the oil and mineral wealth out of Iran at rock bottom prices while we leave the true Persian Iranians in shambles and further secure Israel’s local ambitions. “

  3. krikor said:

    Bull! Azerbaijan is a small, Shiite Muslim state that is marginal as a Muslim state to court. The geopolitical and geo-economic arguments are not based on sound on analysis. In 2019 Azerbaijan will be able to supply less than two percent of Europe’s gas demand. Azerbaijani oil has already peaked and is declining. The geopolitical significance of Azerbaijan is hyped thanks to the money azerbaian is spending in the US and Europe for lobbying, PR, and cash paid to “think-tanks,” or to intense lobbying of some pro-Israeli groups that are happy because Azerbaijan maintains a relationship with Israel that is more or less hidden.
    The new oil and gas extraction technologies in the US render Azerbaijan useless. Even Azerbaijan’s role as a transit country for the military on its way in and out of Afghanistan is overhyped. In any case, the need for Azerbaijani services will soon end.
    The truth is Azerbaijan is one of the most corrupt countries on earth. It is a hereditary dictatorship where power in a republic passed from father to son. The incumbent in Azerbaijan inherited power from his late father who undertook a coup on a democratically elected government.
    Hayder Aliev was forced to resign by Gorbachev for being too corrupt in the nineteen eighties (imagine!). He staged a coup against a democratically elected government in Azerbaijan and founded the Aliev dynasty. Today, his son was elected as the corruption person of the year by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP). Both Alievs human rights records are less than impressive if you know what I mean.

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