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U.S. Ambassador Robert Bradtke has been appointed the next Minsk Group Co-Chair. Established in 1992 by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, or the OSCE, the purpose of the Minsk Group is to encourage a peaceful, negotiated resolution of the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh.
The United States co-chairs the Minsk Group together with France and Russia. Armenia and Azerbaijan are participating states in the Minsk Group, along with Belarus, Germany, Italy, Portugal, the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, and Turkey.
Ambassador Bradtke brings to this position more than 36 years of experience in diplomacy and extensive expertise in European security policy. In July of this year, he completed a 3-year assignment as the Chief of Mission at the United States Embassy in Zagreb, Croatia. Prior to that, he served from 2001 to 2004 as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, with responsibility for NATO and the OSCE.
The United States understands the critical importance of achieving a peaceful resolution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The U.S. welcomes recent positive dialogues between President Serzh Sargsian of Armenia and President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has made clear to the two presidents her strong interest in the Minsk Group's ongoing efforts to bring the process to a fruitful conclusion, and the administration of President Barack Obama is committed to doing everything possible to support this goal.