In an extensive interview with the RFE/RL’s Washington correspondent Heather Maher, Assistant U.S. Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Philip Gordon touched upon the Karabakh issue.
The RFE/RL correspondent addressed the U.S. high ranking official with the following question. “There is a perception of late in Armenia that the Russians have taken the lead as the organizer and mediator of talks between the Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders. The recent talks in the Russian city Astrakhan mediated by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is just the latest example. Are the United States and France outsourcing their role in the OSCE’s Minsk process to Russia? And can you comment on the Minsk process and where you see it going?”
However, Philip Gordon did not share this view. “Well, I think that would be news to the secretary of state, who is very much focused on this issue, [has] spent a lot of time working on it with the French and the Russians and with the parties, including on her trip to both countries in July. And it would be news to our Minsk group negotiator, Ambassador [Robert] Bradtke, who has spent an enormous amount of time shuttling back and forth between the countries and with the French and Russians.
It would be news to me and others around here [the State Department] who are very much focused on it, because the United States, as a Minsk Group co-chair, but also an important player in the Caucasus, has a major role to play. And we have been very focused on it because it’s a potentially dangerous situation. There are incidents along the line of control all too frequently and we remain committed to using the Minsk Group process to get a settlement — in the absence of which you would constantly have to worry. You’ll have isolation of the two countries that should be cooperating economically, diplomatically, and you’ll have the potential for a conflict, so we’re very much involved,” he told RFE/RL.

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