U.S. State Department revises statement on Nagorno Karabakh

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at ccat.sas.upenn.edu
Sat Apr 28 14:26:55 UTC 2007

Karabakh: U.S. State Department revised its mistake in annual report of
human rights

20.04.2007 15:19 GMT+04:00


The U.S. Department of State has revised the mistaken assertion, within
the Armenia section of its recently released annual human rights report,
that, Armenia continues to occupy the Azerbaijani territory of Nagorno
Karabakh and seven surrounding Azerbaijani territories, the
PanARMENIAN.Net was told in the Armenian National Committee of America
(ANCA). The amended language, released this week, has been posted on the
Department's website. It reads as follows: Armenian forces occupy large
portions of Azerbaijan territory adjacent to Nagorno Karabakh. Armenian
officials maintain that they do not occupy Nagorno Karabakh itself. The
Azerbaijan section, which included nearly identical language, has yet to
be revised.

We take note of the fact that the State Department has responded to our
concern that the reports mischaracterization of Nagorno Karabakhs status
would be detrimental to the U.S. governments role as an impartial mediator
of the Minsk Group negotiations. We remain concerned that the amended text
continues to fall short of accurately describing the situation, as well as
by the fact that the Azerbaijan section of the report continues to make
incorrect assertions, thus making its text inconsistent with the State
Departments own revision of the Armenia section, ANCA Executive Director
Aram Hamparian said.

ANCA Chairman Ken Hachikian, in an April 3, 2007 letter to Secretary of
State Condoleezza Rice, expressed concerns that, such statements
fundamentally misrepresent the well-documented reality in the region,
contradict the Departments previous human rights reports, and undermine
the credibility of the United States as an impartial arbiter destined to a
leadership role in the OSCE Minsk Group peace process. These unprecedented
assertions are both factually inaccurate and counter-productive to our
governments aim of reaching a durable resolution to the Nagorno Karabakh
conflict. To say that Nagorno Karabakh is an Azerbaijani territory and
that Armenia occupies Nagorno Karabakh and other territories is to ignore
the very fundamentals of this conflict. These statements only serve to
send the wrong message to the Azerbaijani side and further complicate the
peace negotiations, Ken Hachikian said.



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