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

Guatemala Mudslide Death Toll Rises to 86

Death toll is expected to continue to rise as emergency crews dig through tons of earth for an estimated 350 people still missing More

Goodbye Pocahontas: Photos Reveal Today's Real Native Americans

Weary of stereotypes, photographer Matika Wilbur is determined to reshape the public's perception of her people More

Debris Found in Search for Missing Ship

Objects located Sunday have not yet been confirmed to be from the 240 meter container ship, El Faro, which disappeared in the eye of Hurricane Joaquin, according to US Coast Guard More

This forum has been closed.
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.
Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europei
Luis Ramirez
October 02, 2015 4:45 PM
European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video First Self-Driving Truck Debuts on European Highways

The first automated semi-trailer truck started its maiden voyage Friday, Oct. 2, on a European highway. The Daimler truck called 'Actros' is the first potentially mass-produced truck whose driver will be required only to monitor the situation, similar to the role of an airline captain while the plane is in autopilot mode. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Migrant Influx Costs Europe, But Economy Could Benefit

The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants is testing Europe’s ability to respond – especially in the poorer Balkan states. But some analysts argue that Europe will benefit by welcoming the huge numbers of young people – many of them well educated and willing to work. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

Video New Fabric Helps Fight Dust-Related Allergies

Many people around the world suffer from dust-related allergies, caused mainly by tiny mites that live in bed linen. Polish scientists report they have successfully tested a fabric that is impenetrable to the microscopic creatures. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Burkina Faso's Economy Deeply Affected by Political Turmoil

Political turmoil in Burkina Faso over the past year has taken a toll on the economy. The transitional government is reporting nearly $70 million in losses in the ten days that followed a short-lived coup by members of the presidential guard earlier this month. The crisis shut businesses and workers went on strike. With elections on the horizon, Emilie Iob reports on what a return to political stability can do for the country's economic recovery.

Video Fleeing Violence, Some Syrians Find Refuge in Irbil

As Syrians continue to flee their country’s unrest to seek new lives in safer places, VOA Persian Service reporter Shepol Abbassi visited Irbil, where a number Syrians have taken refuge. During the religious holidy of Eid al-Adha, the city largely shut down, as temperatures soared. Amy Katz narrates his report.

Video Nigeria’s Wecyclers Work for Reusable Future in Lagos

The streets and lagoons of Africa's largest city - Lagos, Nigeria - are often clogged with trash, almost none of which gets recycled. One company is trying to change that. Chris Stein reports for VOA from Lagos.

Video Sketch Artist Helps Catch Criminals, Gives a Face to Deceased

Police often face the problem of trying to find a crime suspect based on general descriptions that could fit hundreds of people in the vicinity of the crime. In these cases, an artist can use information from witnesses to sketch a likeness that police can show the public via newspapers and television. But, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, such sketches can also help bring back faces of the dead.

Video Thailand Set to Build China-like Internet Firewall

Thai authorities are planning to tighten control over the Internet, creating a single international access point so they can better monitor content. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok on what is being called Thailand’s own "Great Firewall."

Video Croatian Town’s War History Evokes Empathy for Migrants

As thousands of Afghanistan, Iraqi and Syrian migrants pass through Croatia, locals are reminded of their own experiences with war and refugees in the 1990s. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from the town of Vukovar, where wartime scars still are visible today.

Video Long Drought Affecting California’s Sequoias

California is suffering under a historic four-year drought and scientists say even the state's famed sequoia trees are feeling the pain. The National Park Service has started detailed research to see how it can help the oldest living things on earth survive. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs