News / USA

Clinton to Tackle Nagorno-Karabakh, Georgia Issues During Trip

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (file photo)
US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (file photo)

Officials say Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will discuss lingering problem issues from the 2008 Russia-Georgia conflict, and the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the trip to eastern Europe and the Caucasus region she begins Thursday. Clinton will visit Poland, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia in the five-day trip.

The trip will be Clinton's first to the Caucasus region since taking office, and an opportunity to hear first-hand from leaders there on lingering territorial disputes that have hampered the political emergence of the former Soviet republics.

The brief 2008 war between Georgia and Russia left Russian troops occupying the breakaway Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia despite international calls for a return to the pre-war status quo.

Briefing reporters on the trip, Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Philip Gordon said the Obama administration is dissatisfied with Russia's failure to date to live up to cease-fire requirements.

"We respect Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and we call on Russia to abide by its commitments in the August 2008 cease-fire, which not only called for the non-use of force and an end to hostilities, but called upon the parties to move their military forces back to where they were before the conflict began, and that hasn't been done," he said.

Gordon said in Armenia and Azerbaijan, Clinton will press the neighbors to live up to commitments under the Minsk Group process aimed at ending their long-running dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh, an Armenian controlled enclave within Azerbaijan. Tensions there have recently flared into violence.

"I think we've seen in some of the violence that has appeared in the region lately that we can't take stability for granted and Armenia and Azerbaijan would both benefit from moving forward in the Minsk Group process, and the Secretary will have a chance in both countries to underscore what the presidents said in Toronto the other day," he said.

President Barack Obama, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev and French President Nicolas Sarkozy - as the Minsk group co-chairs - issued a statement at the G20 summit in Canada last week urging Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders to complete work on basic principles for a peace accord.

Secretary Clinton begins the trip in Kyiv and a meeting with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. Assistant Secretary Gordon said while the Ukrainian leader, who took office in February, is considered more pro-Russian than his predecessor he has charted a independent course.

"When the new president was elected, he made clear that Ukraine didn't see its future as one choosing between East and West. Indeed he very symbolically made his first visit to Brussels and declared that his foreign policy was one of pursuing good relations with Russia - Ukraine has every right to want to have good relations with Russia -  but also pursuing good relationships with Europe and the United States. And that's what we'd like to see happen," said Gordon.

Gordon said the Obama administration hopes to get beyond the notion that Central European countries have to choose whether they will be pro-Russian or pro-American. He said better relations between Washington and Moscow help advance that process.

You May Like

Republican Majority in Congress Off to Rough Start

Standoff over Homeland Security funding exposes philosophical, tactical problems within party More

Pakistan Blocks Baloch Activist from US Trip

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan slams Islamabad officials for stopping people from leaving country to attend human rights conference More

Video Muslims Long Thrived in North Carolina Before Students Killed

Idyll shattered February 10, when three Muslim university students living in Chapel Hill were gunned down by a neighbor 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.
Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Studentsi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
March 05, 2015 9:04 PM
The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Students

The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

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