Azerbaijan, Baku, 19 February / Trend corr. K.Ramazanova / Washington made a statement to determine the status of Nagorno-Karabakh after the unilateral declaration of independence by Kosovo on 17 February. Over 20 countries including the US recognized the independence of Kosovo.
"The further status of Karabakh should be determined through international negotiations," the US Embassy press-release to Azerbaijan reported.
The situation in Kosovo is a special case and does not set a precedent for other regions, including Nagorno-Karabakh.
The unusual combination of factors involved in Kosovo, including a specific U.N. Security Council Resolution envisioning a status process and an extended period of transitional U.N. administration, makes the Kosovo case fundamentally different from all other existing cases. Of particular importance, the situation in Kosovo is governed by the terms of a specific resolution that was intended to help determine Kosovo's future status through a political process that contemplated the possibility of independence.
The United States, together with France and Russia, is a Co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, and in that capacity has been actively involved in mediating a solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict for 11 years. Our longstanding policy remains unchanged: the United States recognizes the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and supports a peaceful and negotiated solution to the conflict. At the same time, we maintain that the future status of Nagorno-Karabakh should be determined through international negotiations.
In the wake of these latest developments in Kosovo, we call on all members of the international community to avoid any public statements that could undermine the chances for a peaceful, negotiated settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Any attempt to resolve the conflict through military force or any means other than a negotiated compromise risks undermining peace and stability throughout the Caucasus.