YEREVAN, JANUARY 28, ARTSAKHPRESS. The situation around the Lachin Corridor is an obstacle to the advancement of the peace process between Armenia and Azerbaijan, ARTSAKHPRESS.reports US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Karen Donfried said in an interview with the Armenian service of “Voice of America”.
According to the high-ranking diplomat, Washington is actively making efforts to reopen the corridor. Assistant Secretary of State Donfried emphasizes that the issue of blocking the Lachin Corridor was the primary topic in the recent telephone conversations of Secretary of State Blinken with the leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia.
“The Secretary of State called for the immediate reopening of the corridor and stressed the importance of unhindered commercial and private traffic. We are very concerned about the situation of the local Armenian population in Nagorno Karabakh. We will continue to be involved and put pressure over this situation,” she said.
In addition, according to Donfried, there are other obstacles in the Armenian-Azerbaijani negotiation process.
“Besides that, of course, there is a decades-long painful history in the relations between the two countries. Thus, both the Armenian and Azerbaijani sides have understandable concerns, and we note a lack of trust between these two countries,” asserts Donfried.
She notes that the Armenian-Azerbaijani negotiation process, which is one of the issues on the agenda of US Secretary of State Blinken, includes discussions on many complex issues, including the peace agreement, border demarcation, reopening of transport links between the countries. The US supports direct dialogue between the parties and emphasizes its necessity, because only in this way, according to the Assistant Secretary of State, it is possible to achieve the settlement of the above-mentioned complex issues.
“We believe that both Armenia and Azerbaijan are deeply committed to this process. We are ready to help in every way, realizing that the difficult decisions that must be made to achieve peace must be made in Yerevan and Baku,” she says.
According to the high-ranking diplomat, the problems between Armenia and Azerbaijan cannot have a military solution, and the only way is a diplomatic settlement through the peace process. “We would not like to see any escalation of the situation”, emphasizes Donfried.
“We do not see a military solution to the situation between the two countries, and we will continue to remain engaged diplomatically, as we have been doing, first to make sure there is no escalation, and second to help encourage positive progress,” she said.
The Deputy Secretary of State expresses gratitude to the EU for deploying a civilian mission to Armenia to monitor Armenia’s border with Azerbaijan. “It is an initiative that we fully support,” she said.