White House: Territories surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh should be returned to Azerbaijan’s control

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Baku, June 11 AZERTAC

The U.S. White House administration responded officially to the petition, which demands the withdrawal of Armenian troops occupying 20% of Azerbaijani territory and emphasizes the dramatic situation of hundreds of thousands of citizens threatened by a humanitarian catastrophe because of neglected Sarsang dam.

The White House stated that as a co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, the United States is strongly committed to a peaceful and lasting settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

“We have read Resolution 2085 of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) and, although the United States is not a member of PACE, we welcome opportunities to exchange views on the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process with any interested interlocutor,” the White House said in a statement on June 11.

The Obama Administration urges the sides to demonstrate restraint and enter into an immediate negotiation on a comprehensive settlement, which would include the return of the territories surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh to Azerbaijan’s control and a determination of Nagorno-Karabakh’s status.

“As part of our ongoing dialogue with the sides, we have and will continue to facilitate discussions related to humanitarian issues. Management and maintenance of the Sarsang Reservoir is one such issue. We welcome a meeting between technical experts from the sides to discuss water management and dam inspections. The co-chairs are ready to facilitate such a meeting. Ultimately, a resolution of this longstanding conflict depends on the political will of the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan. As a Minsk Group co-chair country, we will continue our efforts to advance peace and prosperity in the region,” said the statement.

This petition was signed by over 330,000 signatures, more than triple the number needed to secure a reply by the Obama administration. Few weeks ago the proponent of this petition, Elkan Suleymanov, the President of the Civil Society Development in Azerbaijan said: “We welcome the U.S. Administration’s position being not supportive of a separatist solution for Nagorno-Karabakh and not leaving possibility for illegal self-determination”.

Elkhan Suleymanov said: “The facts that Armenia is an aggressor, that Nagorno-Karabakh and other territories of Azerbaijan are under the control of Armenian armed forces, that humanitarian catastrophe due to Sarsang dam is imminent, were on the U.S. White House's official website for over two months. Millions of people from all over the world, being misinformed by biased international media for more than 20 years, have been visiting this website during more than two months. Therefore this petition was a very important and a significant activity on the way to the liberation of our territories from the occupation.”

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