Clinton, Nalbandian Discuss Karabakh

Foreign Minister Nalbandian greets Hillary Clinton on Thursday

WASHINTON (RFE/RL)—Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian held talks in Washington late Thursday, with the unresolved Nagorno-Karabakh conflict apparently topping the agenda.

They made no public statements after the meeting which the Armenian Foreign Ministry said touched upon “a broad range of issues” of mutual interest.

“The United States and Armenia have many connections and relationships that span politics and go into family and so much else that is very important to us,” Clinton said as she greeted Nalbandian at the State Department. “And we have many, many important issues ahead of us, and I look forward to continuing the important conversation that we’ve been carrying out.”

“The frequency of our meetings proves our commitment to deepen and to strengthen Armenian-American relations,” Nalbandian said, for his part. “Due to our joint efforts, we elevated our relationship to a qualitatively new level during the last years.”

In a statement on the meeting issued on Friday, Nalbandian’s press office singled out the two officials’ discussion of “recent developments” in international efforts to broker a resolution of the Karabakh conflict. It quoted Clinton as saying that the dispute can be settled only by peaceful means.

According to the statement, Clinton assured her Armenian counterpart that the United States will continue to lend “full support” to Armenia and Azerbaijan in their search for a compromise settlement.

Philip Gordon, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for Europe and Eurasia, told a U.S. congressional panel on Wednesday that Washington plans to “increase our engagement” in the Karabakh peace process through the OSCE’s Minsk Group, which it co-chairs with Russia and France.

“In that regard, we strongly believe that the time has come to finalize and endorse the Basic Principles [of a Karabakh settlement] and move to the drafting of a peace agreement,” Gordon said, echoing a joint statement issued by the Minsk Group co-chairs last month.

Later on Thursday, Nalbandian held separate meetings with Gordon and Robert Bradtke, the group’s U.S. co-chair. An Armenian Foreign Ministry statement said he discussed with the latter a fresh visit to the region planned by Bradtke and his Russian and French opposite numbers. No further details were reported.

The three co-chairs last month spoke of “positive momentum” created by the Armenian and Azerbaijani president at their most recent meeting held in Russia in March. The two leaders are expected to meet again in June or July.

International hopes for a breakthrough in the long-running Armenian-Azerbaijani peace talks, a key U.S. policy goal in the region, are called into question by continuing ceasefire violations in the conflict zone and bitter accusations traded by the two warring sides.

President Serzh Sarkisian said earlier this week that Yerevan and Baku have differing interpretations of two key principles that are at the heart of a framework peace accord proposed by the U.S., Russia and France.

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10 Comments

  1. ArdeVast Atheian said:

    I adore this woman. Such depth, such command of her craft, such intelligence, such gift of speech and diplomacy. What an irreplaceable asset to the United States, indeed to the world. I don’t know of any other statesman that comes to even close.

  2. Samvel Jeshmaridian, PhD said:

    Antuan De Sent Eksuperi used to say, “If I die, you will lose one friend only, Antuan Eksuperi by name, but I will lose everything and everyone.” In the US-Armenia relations, the USA behaves according to its own interests only and very often behaves indifferently and inaccurately, and the result of wrong political processes for the United States of America might be a loss of only one diplomatic battle against the Russian Federation, and nothing more. But Armenia can lose the hope for democracy which means Armenia can lose everything and everyone. Hillary Clinton views US-Armenia relations through the prism of her own relations with President Obama. Both of them do not understand one simple thing (even President Bush knew that) that they are dealing with criminal structures of Armenia, illegal Government and illegitimate President’s FM. Receiving Armenia’s illegal FM Nalbandyan now means harming the Armenian liberal spirit and hurting the people’s desperate struggle for liberty from criminals and democracy for the World. Mrs. Clinton, the Armenian people will never apologize You and Mr. Obama (with whom You are in conflict even now, in the period of Your service as US State Secretary) for Your anti-democratic foreign policy and pseudo-diplomacy.

  3. MarkT said:

    I would be fairly sure that Clinton left the meeting knowing that the Armenians Genocide was not on the minds of Nalbandian or Sargsian and never has been.

  4. Hrant K. said:

    The only and everlasting solution to the Artsakh problem can be exclusively by a “de jure”

    international recognition of the current Artsakh “de facto” Republic (with a border eastwards

    adjacent to the Armenian Historic Gour River) !!! (7)

  5. Lusik said:

    There is no need for a proof that political West has all means to make a mess of any electoral process in any country.
    Particularly, political west sells to erdogan for presidential election in June the “some solution to karabakh problem for brother-azeris”.

    I do not get,
    a) why Armenians have to give away even that small part of their homeland, in order to solve electoral issues of turks and assuage the global-hegemony ambition of the West?
    b) Even worse, to give it away to azeris who get the posture of being somebody simply because Kaspian sea has an oil reservoir?

  6. Turan said:

    can anyone tell me why armenia would be important to the usa?

    • Heghapokhagan said:

      Same reason as Bosnia is important to USA + Armenia has been “perfect ally” to USA

  7. nana said:

    We know what this means:
    “According to the statement, Clinton assured her Armenian counterpart that the United States will continue to lend “full support” to Armenia and Azerbaijan in their search for a compromise settlement.”

    Azeris were helped to build a dust of the fear of a war. Now the “search of compromise” should be seen as Armenians giving up their victory and Azeris giving up their war rhetoric. Just wait and see. The “full support” will be actually a full, one-sided support to Azeris.

    • Halo said:

      And the reason for that is Clinton and Obama are nothing more than spokespersons and puppets for the interests of Chevron and British Petroleum.

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