BAKU—Azerbaijan’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mahmud Mammad-Guliyev summoned the US ambassador to Azerbaijan, Robert Cekuta, to officially express Baku’s strong protest to US Minsk Grouo Co-chairmen James Warlick participation in a Congressional event celebrating Artsakh’s independence, the APA news agency reported.
The event in question was held on December 9 on Capitol Hill and featured Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Foreign Minister Karen Mirzoyan. During the event, attended by several Congressional leaders, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Ed Royce announced that he would convene a special hearing on Azerbaijan’s continued violation of the cease fire. Warlick attended the event, alongside other dignitaries.
Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry also took offense with Warlick’s meeting with Mirzoyan, which probably wasn’t the first the mediator was meeting with the Artsakh official in his capacity as one of the lead negotiators of Karabakh peace.
Mammad-Guliyev to Cekuta that the participation of the US co-chair of the OSCE MG in such events, “which are directed against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, violates the mandate of the OSCE MG co-chairs, casts doubt on its neutrality and impartiality and contradicts the official policy of the US Government not recognizing as legitimate the situation created through the use of force against the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, accompanied by the notorious practice of ethnic cleansing on a massive scale and other flagrant violations of the norms and principles of international law,” reported APA.
Azerbaijan’s foreign ministry also stated that it had warned the State Department on numerous occasions that “providing conditions for the agents of the unlawful regime to engage in public campaigns and other activities on the American soil does not assist advancing the peace process for the resolution of the Armenia-Azerbaijan armed conflict and complicates the already difficult conflict settlement,” added APA.
Cekuta assured that the note, reflecting Azerbaijan’s sentiments will be delivered to the State Department.