Azerbaijan, Baku, June 10 / Trend , E.Tariverdiyeva/
The United States' position in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict remains unchanged - this is peaceful settlement of the conflict and respect for "Madrid principles", developed by the OSCE Minsk Group, U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan Anne Derse told journalists on June 10.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and 7 surrounding districts. Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia, France, and the U.S. - are currently holding the peace negotiations.
"These principles must keep balance and be discussed with the conflict sides," Derse said.
"Any mechanism of people's will must be included in the settlement of the Karabakh conflict," U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Gordon Philip told journalists in Yerevan, "News-Armenia" reported.
"Any mechanism of voting, in which people will express their will, should be included in the settlement process," Gordon said, in response to a question about the possibility of a referendum.
The Assistant Secretary of State believes people's right to self-determination is one of principles, as the principles of territorial integrity and non-use of weapons.
"The result must reflect the three principles, each of which has its own importance," said Gordon.
"Gordon is in this position only within two months and I think he will closely get familiarization with the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict during his current visit to the region of conflict," the U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan said.
The Assistant Secretary of State on European and Eurasian Affairs Gordon will discuss issues related to participation of Barack Obama Administration in the Karabakh settlement in Baku.
Gordan will visit Baku on June 11.
At the talks in Baku, the new assistant secretary of state plans to discuss issues of bilateral and regional cooperation, including energy security with government officials and civil society, the U.S. Embassy in Azerbaijan told Trend on June 10.
Gordon was appointed to the post on 15 May this year, and this is his first visit to the region at this position.
Gordan intends to direct his efforts to "promote democracy, economic reform, protection of national sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as conflict resolution," the report says.