Bryza: Sahakyan's US visit should have no impact on strategic partnership with Azerbaijan
Baku, Azerbaijan, March 18
By Leman Zeynalova - Trend:
The visit of Bako Sahakyan, who claims to be the “president” of the illegal regime created in the occupied Azerbaijani territories, to the US should have no impact on strategic partnership between Washington and Baku, Matthew Bryza, former US ambassador to Azerbaijan and former co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, told Trend March 18.
“This is not Sahakyan’s first visit to the U.S. Moreover, he has absolutely no sponsorship from the U.S. government and, as in the past, will not have any meetings with U.S. government officials, except possibly the U.S. Co-Chair, and that would never occur on U.S. government territory. So, as long as the above conditions are met, Sahakyan’s decision to make what the U.S. government views as a private visit to the U.S. should have no impact on the Azerbaijan-U.S. strategic partnershp. But, I stress, the above conditions need to be met,” said Bryza.
Also, he believes, it is possible that members of the U.S. Congress, such as Senator Robert Melendez, may host meetings with Sahakyan.
“But, Menendez has been under investigation by the FBI for corruption for years and will soon face a re-trial. I know from my personal experience of him blocking my confirmation as Ambassador to Azerbaijan that he is in the pocket of the vicious and hateful Armenian National Committee of America, whose previous president is a convicted felon. I therefore would not read anything significant into any meeting the highly corrupt Menendez might host,” added Bryza.
Earlier, over Bako Sahakyan’s visit, the US Ambassador to Azerbaijan Robert Cekuta was summoned to the Foreign Ministry and received a note of protest, sent by the Foreign Ministry of Azerbaijan to the US State Department.
Meanwhile, Azerbaijan’s ambassador to the US, Elin Suleymanov, after a meeting in the State Department, presented the protest of Azerbaijan to the American side.
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.