President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev received a delegation led by US Deputy Undersecretary for Southern Europe and Caucasus Policy Erika Olson.
The delegation includes Andrew Schofer, US State Department Senior Advisor for Caucasus Negotiations, US Ambassador to Azerbaijan Earle Litzenberger, US Ambassador to Georgia Kelly Degnan and US Ambassador to Armenia Lynne Tracy.
During the meeting, the parties focused on the prospects for the development of bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and the United States. It was also noted that this year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and the United States. During this period, fruitful cooperation was established between the two countries, particularly in the energy sector.
The parties also exchanged views on regional issues, discussed the normalization of relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia and the preparation of a peace agreement, as well as the opening of communications. President Ilham Aliyev said the Azerbaijani delegation was ready to start negotiations on a peace deal.
The head of state highlighted the devastation caused by Armenia to Azerbaijani territories during the almost 30 years of occupation, the destruction of material and cultural traditions, including more than 60 mosques, and their use as stables. Noting that Armenia had laid a large number of mines in the territories during the occupation, President Ilham Aliyev highlighted the landmine problem that Azerbaijan was currently facing and stressed the importance of US support in this regard. .
During the conversation, the head of state said that more than 4,000 Azerbaijanis had disappeared since the first Karabakh war, many of whom had been tortured, killed and buried in mass graves by Armenia. He stressed the importance of providing information on the location of these cemeteries by Armenia, stressing the need for the support of the US government in this regard.
The parties also exchanged views on ensuring lasting peace, stability and security in the region and other issues of mutual interest.