Tillerson: US interested in early settlement of Karabakh conflict (UPDATE)
Details added (first version posted on 13:59)
Baku, Azerbaijan, Mar. 28
The US is interested in an early settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, reads the letter of the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov.
Tillerson’s letter was sent on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and the US.
In his letter, the US secretary of state noted the close cooperation of the US with Azerbaijan, in particular in the energy sector.
He also noted the support of the US aimed at diversifying the economy and developing the economic opportunities of Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan was among the first countries to support the US after the Sept. 11 events, Tillerson said in his letter.
The US secretary of state conveyed congratulations of the American people to the Azerbaijani people on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of friendship and cooperation between the two countries.
In response, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov noted in his letter to Tillerson that over the past 25 years, the relations between Azerbaijan and the US have developed into a strategic partnership.
Mammadyarov added that Azerbaijan closely cooperates with the US in the energy sector by contributing to the energy security and the diversification of the energy resources of Europe.
The Azerbaijani foreign minister also stressed the successful cooperation of the two countries in the fight against terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
The minister noted in his letter that Azerbaijan relies on the fair mediation of the US in the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Mammadyarov stressed that the conflict must be resolved peacefully and on the basis of the UN Security Council resolutions.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.