“I will do everything I can to help the parties resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict peacefully” — Kerry
WASHINGTON – “If confirmed as Secretary of State, I will continue working to support the peace process and to oppose actions that could increase tensions int he region or damage the peace process,” said Senator John Kerry.
He was approved by vote of 94 to 3 and started on February 1, 2013, serving as Secretary of State.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Robert Menendez and Barbara Boxer, as well as others, questioned Secretary of State-designate John Kerry on a range of issues, including Armenian American concerns – during the confirmation process.
The themes included U.S affirmation of the Armenian Genocide to the efforts to address ongoing Azerbaijani threats against Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh.
Kerry also avoided using the word “Genocide”, like many other statesmen when they get a higher position.
Kerry said the United States raised its concerns directly with the highest levels of the government of Azerbaijan about Ramil Safarov’s case.
“Immediately after learning of Azerbaijani President Aliyev’s pardon of Ramil Safarov, the United Sated raised its concern directly with the highest levels of the government of Azerbaijan. In addition, both the White House and the State Department released strong statements of concern over Mr. Safarov’s transfer and subsequent pardon. Mr. Safarov was tried and convicted of a brutal murder, and the United States was extremely troubled to learn that the would not serve the remainder of his sentence.”
As a co-chair of the OSCE Mink Group, the United States continues working to help the sides reach a peaceful resolution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and the United States condemns any action that fuels tension ion the region or threatens to damage the peace process. If confirmed, I will continued to raise the concerns expressed by the United States previously and do everything I can to help the parties resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict peacefully.”
Kerry also touched on the Stepanakert Airport issue (the Azeris said they will shoot down any airplane that tries to land on the Nagorno-Karabakh airport) saying that the parties to this dispute must resolve this dangerous situation diplomatically.
“The Administration has firmly opposed any steps by any party that increase tensions in the region or threaten to damage the peace process in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. As a Co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, along with Russia and France, the United States responded swiftly when such threats first appeared, and the Administration has continued to raise the issue bilaterally and thorugh the Minsk Group Co-Chairs.