Bryza Denies Appointment to Ambassadorial Post in Azerbaijan

GEORGIA OPPOSITIONBaku (APA)—US Deputy Secretary of State Matthew Bryza has denied reports circulating in the Azeri press alleging the State Department had appointed him to fill the vacant ambassadorial post in Baku.

The Azeri Press Agency reported on Tuesday that Bryza, the chief US negotiator for the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, will be appointed as the next US Ambassador to Azerbaijan. The report cited the Russian Regnum News Agency and quoted an unnamed high level official from the State Department.

Bryza, who is visiting the region with his Russian and French co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, told a press conference in Baku on Thursday that he had not been appointed to any new positions.

“I am a co-chair of OSCE Minsk Group. There were even rumors about my new other appointments in European countries. I don’t know fortunately or unfortunately, my president did not appoint me to another position,” he said, adding that his assignment from the State Department have been to find a solution to the Karabakh conflict.

Citing a report by the Russian Regnum News Agency, APA said an anonymous high level official at the US State Department had already confirmed Bryza’s appointment with official Baku.
The speculation began last month when Foreign Policy Magazine reported that Bryza had been short-listed to become the Obama Administration’s pick for the recently vacated ambassadorial post in Baku. According to a blog run by the magazine, Daniel Fried, the former US Assistant Secretary of State of European and Eurasian Affairs, had raised the issue with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Both Bryza and Fried denied the claims shortly after the report was published.

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