US Ambassador to Armenia Lynne Tracy

YEREVAN — The US is doing everything to bring the parties together under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group, US Ambassador to Armenia Lynne Tracy told reporters in Yerevan Saturday.

She noted that the fundamental issues of peace and security require negotiation and diplomacy.

“Secretary Blinken has made our commitment to this process very clear on several occasions,” Ambassador. Tracy emphasized.

“It’s obviously a very tough environment, 30 years of war and tensions are not going to be resolved overnight, but we understand that there are some fundamental issues that have to be addressed, and one of them is that we do not consider the status of Karabakh resolved. We will continue to keep that on the agenda of the [OSCE] Minsk Group” the Ambassador added.

Asked about the perspectives of dialogue, Ambassador Tracy noted: ” I don’t want to speak for the parties. The Government of Armenia has made clear that the issue of prisoners held by Azerbaijan is to be resolved before it’s possible to talk about wider issues.”

“As you know, the United States has made efforts in this regard, our Russian colleagues have made efforts in this regard with some success. We hope to get to a place where we have all the prisoners returned, and it is certainly the call that we have been making,” she added.

She noted that there is no perfect platform, but the Minsk Group is a platform that has a mandate and legitimacy and can still play a role in the process.

The US Ambassador also referred to the report of the human rights defender of Armenia, which also contains testimonies of the Armenian prisoners held in Azerbaijan about the brutal torture. The ambassador stated that they call on all countries to respect fundamental human rights. Ambassador Tracy said they are closely monitoring reports from both the Armenian Ombudsman and other sources and will continue to work with all parties to ensure that human rights are respected.

The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry was quick to condemn Tracy’s remarks, saying that they are “undermining the Minsk Group’s further activities.” A ministry spokeswoman echoed President Ilham Aliyev’s repeated claims that Azerbaijan’s victory in the six-week war put an end to the Karabakh conflict.

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