"I ... want to underscore the strategic importance of the relationship between the United States and Azerbaijan and the range of issues that we are working on together - bilateral issues, regional issues, even global issues," U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said while welcoming Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov to a recent meeting in Washington DC. "We are very committed to broadening and deepening our relationship."
The United States and Azerbaijan have a strong relationship based on mutual interests and respect. "We are working to support regional security and stability, enhance energy security, and promote even greater economic and political reforms," Secretary Clinton said.
On bringing more peace and stability to the region, particularly on the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh problem between Azerbaijan and Armenia, Secretary Clinton said, "We are . . . committed to continuing to work through the Minsk Group to try to resolve the longstanding conflict." The Minsk Group was created in 1992 by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe to encourage a peaceful, negotiated resolution to the conflict over the break-away-enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh in Southwestern Azerbaijan.
On political reforms, the United States welcomed the recent release by the government of Azerbaijan of imprisoned journalist Eynulla Fatullayev. "We monitored Mr. Fatullayev’s case closely and called for a transparent legal process consistent with Azerbaijani law and international norms," State Department Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner said in a recently released press statement. "We remain committed to working with Azerbaijan to advance democratic reforms, including on freedom of expression, and other reforms necessary to secure a prosperous future for its people."
In a statement observing Azerbaijan’s national day on May 28th, Secretary Clinton congratulated the people of Azerbaijan on behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, citing the significant achievements that Azerbaijan has made since regaining independence twenty years ago.