Aliyev Slams U.S. Secretary of State Kerry for Being ‘Pro-Armenian’

BAKU, Azerbaijan (A.W.)—Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev criticized United States Secretary of State John Kerry for “showing overt support for Armenia’s policy of occupation,” during a cabinet meeting in Baku on Oct. 7. “To accuse Azerbaijan of being unwilling to settle the conflict is dishonest, to say the least,” he stated, citing Kerry’s recent comments about the Nagorno-Karabagh (Artsakh/NKR) conflict.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev address reporters before their bilateral meeting at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., on March 30, 2016. (Photo: U.S. Dept. of State)

Kerry mentioned the conflict during a forum on international security forum organized by The Atlantic magazine and Aspen Institute in Washington, D.C. last week. “There are some frozen conflicts in the world today: Nagorno-Karabagh, Azerbaijan-Armenia, where you can’t quite see that [decisive progress] right now because the leaders aren’t ready, because the tensions are there,” he said at the forum.

During the Oct. 7 cabinet meeting, Aliyev said that the Azerbaijani government demanded that Kerry’s statements must be corrected “at the highest level as soon as possible,” and that not doing so could call the U.S. mediating mission into question, according to the APA news agency.

“This thesis was voiced officially. But behind the closed doors conversations are taking place, and pressure is exerted on Azerbaijan so that it agrees to Nagorno-Karabagh’s independence,” he also said at the meeting.

The Director of the press office of the United States Department of State of State Elizabeth Trudeau said during an Oct. 3 daily press briefing that the U.S. supports a “negotiated settlement” to the NKR conflict. When asked about U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s statement regarding the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan not being ready for conflict resolution, Trudeau said that a just settlement of the issue must be based on international law.

“We continue to engage actively with the sides. You know we’re co-chair of the [Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe] OSCE Minsk Group. Our longstanding policy shared by the Minsk Group co-chairs is that a just settlement must be based on international law, which includes the Helsinki Final Act, the principle of non-use of force or the threat of force, territorial integrity, and self-determination,” Trudeau said in her answer.

Source: Armenian Weekly
Link: Aliyev Slams U.S. Secretary of State Kerry for Being ‘Pro-Armenian’

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