News / Europe

Clinton Presses Armenia, Azerbaijan for Nagorno-Karabakh Settlement

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met Sunday with the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan to press for progress toward settling their long-standing dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh. Clinton completes her brief visit to the southern Caucasus region Monday in Georgia.  

She delivered the same message in Yerevan and Baku: that settling the Nagorno-Karabakh issue, on the basis of principles offered by international mediators, will open the way for political and economic gains that have eluded the region thus far.

The issue of Nagorno-Karabakh, an ethnic-Armenian enclave controlled by Armenian forces within the borders of Azerbaijan, has been a sources of periodic violence since before the collapse of the Soviet Union, including clashes in recent weeks.

The United States and its partners in the Minsk Group, France and Russia, have been trying to defuse the issue with confidence-building interim proposals aimed at spurring direct negotiations.

Clinton, beginning her day in Baku was told by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev that peace requires an Armenian troop withdrawal. "As you know, for many years, our lands are under occupation.  The United Nations Security Council, the OSCE, European Parliament, the Council of Europe, the Islamic Conference organization, all have adopted resolutions which reflect the situation and which demand the withdrawal of Armenian troops from internationally-recognized territories of Azerbaijan," she said.

Hours later in Yerevan, the Secretary was meeting with Armenian President Sergh Sarkisyan, who depicted the conflict as a struggle for self determination for Nagorno-Karabakh's ethnic-Armenian majority.

"The people of Nagorno Karabakh have a right for free development and advancement on their historic land.  And the right of people for self-determination is one of the most fundamental principles of international law, which has been the basis of independence of most countries in the world today," Sarkisyan said.

Nagorno-Karabakh is considered one of the "frozen conflicts" of the southern European-Caucasus region, but the lethal clashes between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces in the disputed area last month underline its volatility.

Meeting with reporters after her meeting with the Armenian president, Clinton said the clashes are unacceptable violations of a 1994 cease-fire and contrary to the stated commitments of both sides.

She said the United States urges them to refrain from the threat of, and use of, force and apply themselves to the Minsk peace process and completing basic principles leading to a final settlement.

"Everyone knows these are difficult steps to take, but we believe they are important ones and we have expressed our concern to both presidents today that the return to violence is unacceptable.  We regret the incidents of the last several weeks.  And it is in the interests, first and foremost of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh, but certainly of Azerbaijan, Armenia and the greater region, to work as hard as we can together to come up with an acceptable, lasting settlement of this conflict," Clinton said.

Clinton, who is to spend several hours Monday in Georgia, reaffirmed her call for Russia to end what she termed the "continuing occupation" of the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia since the 2008 war with Georgia.

But she said the Obama administration believes it is possible to pursue a "comprehensive common agenda" with Moscow without disagreements on such issues as Georgia, as she put it, "freezing our relationship."

You May Like

Video Indiana Controversy Points to Divergent Notions of Religious Freedom

Gay-marriage opponents are looking for ways to maintain their beliefs in face of changing culture, one writer says More

UNICEF Denies North Korean Measles Outbreak

Agency dismisses Russian media report after government, WHO assurances More

Turkey Seen Taking Harder Stance Against Militant Kurds

Stance comes as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is being seen as moving closer to generals More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedomi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 01, 2015 1:41 AM
Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Welcome Buhari's Return to Power

Crowds of jubilant Nigerians nationwide have celebrated the return to power of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. The retired army general won this year's presidential election with more than 2 million votes more than incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari's supporters hope he can strengthen the country's economy and security once he takes office in late May. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

American and Mexican scientists have completed construction of the world's largest gamma ray observatory, situated high in central Mexico’s Sierra Negra Mountain. The observatory's huge array of water-based detectors will soon start discovering secrets about black holes and supernovas. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More