The Armenian Foreign Ministry has expressed its dismay at the U.S. reaction on Wednesday, welcoming Azerbaijani President Aliyev’s stated readiness to grant “amnesty” to Nagorno-Karabakh’s Armenian leaders if they resign and “surrender” to Baku. Aliyev’s remarks “contained clear threats” to Armenia’s territorial integrity and the security of Karabakh’s population. Washington “should react appropriately to such statements,” said a ministry spokeswoman.
The Armenian side has always welcomed the efforts made by the US in the process of establishing peace, stability, and security in the South Caucasus, Ani Badalyan, spokesperson for the Armenian Foreign Ministry, said today in response to a May 30 U.S. State Department statement, in which it welcomed Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s remarks on the consideration of amnesty for Nagorno-Karabakh officials.
“We think it should be obvious to all our partners that in the process of normalization of relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan, both the recognition of each other’s territorial integrity and inviolability of borders based on the Alma-Ata Declaration and addressing the rights and security of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh are key. As we emphasized in the statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia on May 29, the recognition of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan cannot be interpreted as authority to carry out ethnic cleansing and arbitrariness against the people of Nagorno-Karabakh,” the spokesperson said.
“It is impossible not to notice that the statements made by the President of Azerbaijan on May 28 not only did not offer dignified solutions to the aforementioned problems, but also contained clear threats to the sovereignty and independence of the Republic of Armenia and the right of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh to live in security and with dignity in their homeland, which the Armenian side has repeatedly raised the alarm. Our partners have been alerted about this many times. We believe that the United States, based on its own values of democracy and human rights protection and its commitment and involvement in the establishment of lasting peace in the region, should adequately respond to these statements to prevent the expansionist policy of the Azerbaijani leadership towards the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia and attempts of ethnic cleansing in Nagorno-Karabakh,” Ani Badalyan said.
On Tuesday, the Department of State said in a statement that the United States looks forward to a productive meeting between Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan in Chisinau.
“We are pleased to see that talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan have continued. As Secretary Blinken said, peace is achievable in the South Caucasus. We recently expressed appreciation for Prime Minister Pashinyan’s commitment to peace, and we welcome President Aliyev’s recent remarks on the consideration of amnesty,” the statement reads.
The State Department also warned that aggressive rhetoric can only perpetuate the violence of the past; constructive dialogue—both public and private—can create peace, opportunity, and hope.
“The United States stands ready to support the efforts of both parties to conclude a durable and dignified peace agreement,” the statement says.