November 17, 2023 - 11:29 AMT
U.S. reacts to Azerbaijan’s rejection of Baku-Yerevan meeting

Spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State Matthew Miller has responded to Azerbaijan’s refusal to take part in a meeting with Armenia planned for November 20 in Washington.

“We continue to support peace talks to resolve the issues between Azerbaijan and Armenia,” Miller told a briefing in Thursday, November 16.

“We would encourage the two parties to engage in those talks, whether they are here, whether they are someone else – whether they are somewhere else, and that’ll be – continue to be our policy.”

Azerbaijan's foreign ministry said on Thursday it could not take part in the meeting because of the "one-sided approach of the United States", Reuters reports

It said senior U.S. officials were unwelcome in Baku for the same reason.

Azerbaijan objected in particular to "one-sided and biased" comments on Wednesday by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State James O’Brien to the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

It complained that O'Brien did not mention that "for more than two months Armenia has not been responding" to Azerbaijani peace proposals. The Azerbaijani statement also said Washington was continuing to offer support to Armenia even though Armenia was "an aggressor and a destabilizing source in the region".

According to a transcript posted by the committee, O'Brien said "there cannot be 'business as usual'" in Washington's relations with Baku.

He said the U.S. had cancelled high-level bilateral meetings and engagements with Azerbaijan and would keep urging it to "facilitate the return of Nagorno-Karabakh Armenians who may wish to go back to their homes or visit cultural sites in the region, as well as restore unimpeded commercial, humanitarian, and pedestrian traffic to the region".