Response to the Address by the Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan, H.E. Mr. Jeyhun Bayramov

Response to the Address by the Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan, H.E. Mr. Jeyhun Bayramov

As delivered by Ambassador Michael Carpenter
to the special Permanent Council, Vienna
June 6, 2023 

Foreign Minister Bayramov, I join my colleagues in welcoming you to the Permanent Council.  Let me begin by echoing President Zelenskyy’s thanks to President Aliyev on the margins of the European Political Community Summit for Azerbaijan’s humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and for supporting Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.  The United States is also grateful for your aid to Ukraine in light of Russia’s war of aggression, including providing critical medical care and psycho-social rehabilitation for war-impacted Ukrainian children. 

Your appearance here comes at a critical time for the region.  We firmly believe the only way forward is peace, dialogue, and the normalization of relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia on the basis of mutual respect for each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.  We appreciate the hard work it will take for both countries to peacefully resolve decades of conflict, and pledge our continued support for these endeavors.  To quote Secretary Blinken, “peace is achievable in the South Caucasus.”  We truly believe that. The United States attaches great importance to direct talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan.  Doing the hard work now to reach a durable and sustainable peace agreement, normalize relations, delineate and demarcate borders, open transport and communication links, and ensure the rights and security of all persons in the Nagorno Karabakh region will bring great dividends to Azerbaijan, to Armenia, and to the wider region.  We urge the sides to refrain from provocative, threatening, or hostile actions or rhetoric. 

As a starting point for improving security, we call on Azerbaijan to take steps to ensure constant gas and electricity supplies to Nagorno Karabakh, as well as to ensure the free flow and movement of goods and people, including through the Lachin Corridor.  In this respect, I urge Azerbaijan to adhere to the letter and spirit of the February 22 order by the International Court of Justice. 

Mr. Minister, turning now to the OSCE, we believe every OSCE participating State has a responsibility to ensure the sound governance and financial stability of our Organization.  The OSCE can only be leveraged as a tool to support conflict resolution, economic and environmental cooperation, and human security if it has a budget.  Today, the Organization’s financial integrity is at risk because the OSCE is without an external auditor.  I strongly encourage you to help us reach an agreement on a Unified Budget and an external auditor so we may continue to work for the people throughout the entire OSCE region. 

We believe there is much we can achieve together through this Organization.  And we stand ready to deploy OSCE tools and to implement projects in Azerbaijan, of course with the host country’s support, to realize our common goal of comprehensive security.  

Mr. Minister, the United States will continue to work with Azerbaijan and Armenia, bilaterally, multilaterally, and through partners such as the European Union and international organizations such as the OSCE to help reach a durable and dignified peace.