Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 16
By Anakhanim Hidayatova - Trend:
The US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland will on Feb. 16 travel to Baku, the US Embassy in Azerbaijan told Trend.
She will meet with senior government officials to work to strengthen bilateral relations on trade and investment, energy diversification, security and counter-terrorism, democracy and civil society, as well as toward advancing a just and lasting settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Nuland will also meet with representatives from civil society groups.
The US has supported the Southern Gas Corridor, which is aimed at delivering gas from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz gas and condensate field to Europe.
The Southern Gas Corridor is one of the priority energy projects for the EU.
The project is aimed at diversification of routes and sources of energy supply and thereby increase EU's energy security.
After visiting Baku, the Assistant Secretary Nuland will travel to Tbilisi, Georgia, on Feb. 17 for meetings with senior Georgian government officials, opposition political figures, and civil society representatives to discuss a broad range of bilateral and regional issues, including Georgia's path toward European integration and Georgia's efforts to defend its territorial integrity and sovereignty.
Afterwards, on Feb. 18, Assistant Secretary Nuland will travel to Yerevan, Armenia, where she will meet with senior government officials, civil society groups, and youth representatives to discuss strengthening the political, economic, and people-to-people ties with Armenia and advancing a just and lasting settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
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 two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the US are currently holding peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.
Edited by CN