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

Disappointing Report on China's Economy Shakes Markets

Key stock indexes in London, Paris and Germany were down nearly three percent, while US market indexes were off around two percent in early trading More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs