US Backs Turkish-Armenian Steps to Normalize Ties, Raises Concerns Over Karabakh Tensions

© REUTERS / Artem MikryukovA man shepherds his cows near a rocket case left after a military conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh region, outside Stepanakert January 6, 2021.
A man shepherds his cows near a rocket case left after a military conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh region, outside Stepanakert January 6, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 16.12.2021
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WASHINGTON, December 16 (Sputnik) - White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan told Armenian National Security Council Secretary Armen Grigoryan that the Biden administration welcomes the announcement that Ankara and Yerevan will appoint representatives to discuss normalizing the relationship, the White House said in a statement.
"Mr. Sullivan welcomed the announcement yesterday that Turkey and Armenia will appoint special envoys to discuss the normalization process," White House National Security Council spokesperson Emily Horne said Wednesday after the two officials met.
Earlier, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Turkey and Armenia would appoint special envoys to normalize relations. He added that charter flights with Yerevan would also be opened.
Sullivan, in the same meeting, also raised concerns over ongoing tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan and "emphasized that military movements near un-demarcated borders are irresponsible and provocative."
In addition, President Joe Biden's top security adviser emphasized the US commitment to confidence-building measures both bilaterally and as a Minsk Group Co-Chair.
Earlier, European Council President Charles Michel, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan held a trilateral meeting in Brussels. Michel in a statement said the EU will provide expert assistance in the demarcation and delimitation of the borders between the two countries. Aliyev has said his country wants to open borders with Armenia.
The negotiations took place just days after a skirmish between Azerbaijani and Armenian troops on the border on December 10.
In this handout photo released by Azerbaijani Presidential Press Office, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev visits a mosque in Zangilan District, Azerbaijan. Jabrayil and Zangilan districts came under the control of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces in 2020. - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.07.2021
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Azerbaijan's Aliyev Says Serbian Firms Could Participate in Restoration of Karabakh
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, discussed issues related to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resolution during a phone conversation on Tuesday, the Kremlin said.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova earlier said Moscow is ready to help normalize relations between the two countries.
There are no diplomatic relations between Turkey and Armenia - the border between the two countries has been closed since 1993 at the initiative of Ankara. Difficult relations between the countries are caused by a number of circumstances especially regarding Ankara's support for the Azerbaijani position on the Nagorno-Karabakh problem.
The escalation of a long-lasting conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh erupted in September 2020 and ended with a trilateral ceasefire agreement, signed in November of the same year.
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