Ambassador Philip Reeker greeted by US Ambassador to Armenia Lynne Tracy

New US Karabakh Envoy Visits Armenia

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YEREVAN (Azatutyun) — A senior American diplomat has met with Armenia’s leaders in Yerevan less than three weeks after being appointed as the new US co-chair of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group on Nagorno-Karabakh.

The diplomat, Philip Reeker, arrived in Yerevan late last week on the first leg of his tour of the three South Caucasus states. He met with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Saturday, September 10, before proceeding to neighboring Georgia.

The US Embassy in Armenia reported that during his talks with Pashinyan and other Armenian officials Reeker “underscored US commitment to helping Azerbaijan and Armenia negotiate a comprehensive peaceful settlement.” It gave no other details of the talks.

Pashinyan was cited by his press office as praising “the important role of the US as a co-chair state of the OSCE Minsk Group.” He also called for Washington’s renewed joint peace efforts with the two other co-chairs, Russia and France.

Russia says that the US and France stopped working with it in the Minsk Group format following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. A senior US State Department official denied that in June.

Announcing the appointment of the new US co-chair on August 24, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Reeker will strive for “direct dialogue between Armenia and Azerbaijan” aimed at a “long-term political settlement to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.” “

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The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry denounced Blinken’s statement, saying that the US risks being left out of the Armenian-Azerbaijani peace process with its attempts to “revive” the group. It again claimed that Azerbaijan’s victory in the 2020 war with Armenia put an end to the Karabakh conflict. By contrast, the Armenian government reaffirmed support for the Minsk Group.

The US ambassador in Yerevan, Lynne Tracy, has repeatedly stated over the past year that Washington considers the conflict unresolved because there is still no agreement on Karabakh’s status.

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