YEREVAN, JANUARY 5, ARTSAKHPRESS. The United States State Department announced the retirement of Ambassador Philip Reeker from his role as the senior advisor for Caucasus negotiations and from the Foreign Service. The State Department said that Ambassador Reeker’s contribution reaffirms the importance the United States places in helping Armenia and Azerbaijan negotiate a bilateral sustainable peace.
“….today we announce the retirement of Ambassador Philip Reeker from his role as the senior advisor for Caucasus negotiations, from the Foreign Service, effective tomorrow, January 5th. For over thirty years, Ambassador Reeker has epitomized dedication and service to the department and the people of the United States of America, including as assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs and as our chargé d’affaires at our embassy in London. Ambassador Reeker’s work as the senior advisor for Caucasus negotiations accelerated engagement and helped build a structured process to bring peace to a troubled region. His contribution reaffirms the importance the United States places in helping Armenia and Azerbaijan negotiate a bilateral sustainable peace, as well as our goal of supporting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia, as lead of our delegation to the Geneva International Discussions. Since the beginning of Ambassador Reeker’s appointment in August of last year, it was always understood and expected that he would serve in this position on a short-term basis until the end of last year. Ambassador Reeker’s departure in no way undermines the United States’ commitment to promoting a secure, stable, democratic, prosperous, and peaceful future for the South Caucasus region. The United States continues to engage bilaterally with likeminded partners, like the European Union, and through international organizations, like the OSCE, to facilitate direct dialogue between Azerbaijan and Armenia and to find solutions to all outstanding issues related to or resulting from the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Ambassador Reeker’s extraordinary career at the department has focused on the most challenging of our diplomatic endeavors. From his work on peace agreements to his tireless efforts to negotiate the release of detainees, to his work at this very podium, Ambassador Reeker’s efforts have stemmed the tides of conflict and changed lives for the better. On behalf of the department, we thank Phil for his service and wish him the best in the next chapter of his career. We will all miss him very much,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said at a press briefing.
Price added that Secretary of State Antony Blinken is expected to have an opportunity in the coming days to re-engage by phone with his counterparts in Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Price did not mention candidates to replace Reeker.
Emphasizing that Reeker’s retirement “in no way diminishes [the US] commitment to promoting a secure, stable, democratic, and prosperous South Caucasus region”, Price added: “Well, what you’ve seen from us to date, both under Ambassador Reeker’s tenure and under the tenure of his predecessor as well, we have engaged bilaterally. We have engaged with likeminded partners like the EU. We’ve engaged with international organizations like the OSCE to facilitate direct dialogue between Azerbaijan and Armenia to find solutions to all of those issues related to or resulting from the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Our approach is not going to change. Our approach is one of facilitation, helping the parties themselves to sit down together in a constructive way, and to ideally achieve progress to what is ultimately a comprehensive, long-term solution.”