US support for Azerbaijan in its Nagorno-Karabakh negotiations with Armenia will most likely prove the price for any agreements on other issues made during US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s July 4 visit to Baku, local analysts say.
Discussions about “how to move. . .forward” toward a resolution of the 22-year-long conflict over the breakaway region of Nagorno Karabakh is “one of the purposes” for Secretary of State Clinton’s trips to Azerbaijan and Armenia, Assistant Secretary of State Philip H. Gordon told a June 29 briefing.
On July 4, Clinton will travel from Baku on to Yerevan, where she will meet with Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan and Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian to discuss the Karabakh negotiations and Armenia’s stalled rapprochment process with Turkey. She will continue on to Tbilisi on July 5.
Keeping the Karabakh conflict at the center of Clinton’s short trip to Baku is essential for Azerbaijan, commented Novruz Mammadov, head of the presidential administration’s foreign policy department.
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Shahin Abbasov is a freelance correspondent based in Baku. He is also a board member of the Open Society Institute-Azerbaijan.