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Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty
White House national-security adviser John Bolton says the United States will continue to support a peaceful resolution to the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
On October 24, Bolton flew in to Azerbaijan from Moscow, where he had held two talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin and other high-level officials.
Bolton told reporters at a news conference in Azerbaijan’s capital, Baku, that the Nagorno-Karabakh issue was discussed during talks with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov.
Later on October 24 Bolton arrived in Armenia, where he plans to discuss the conflict with top officials on October 25.
Nagorno-Karabakh, which is populated mainly by ethnic Armenians, declared independence from Azerbaijan amid a 1988-94 war that claimed an estimated 30,000 lives and displaced hundreds of thousands of people.
Since 1994, it has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces that Baku says include troops supplied by Armenia. The region’s claim to independence has not been recognized by any country.
Internationally mediated negotiations involving the so-called Minsk Group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe helped forge a cease-fire in the region, which is not always honored, but have failed to produce a lasting settlement of the conflict.
Answering a question about possible additional sanctions against Russia, Bolton said the White House is “still considering what we may be obligated to do” under the statute that entails further sanctions if Russia does not prove its innocence in the poisoning of the former Russian agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Britain.
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Bolton arrived to Baku on October 24 after spending two days in talks in Moscow.
According to Bolton, among other issues he and Aliyev also discussed Iran’s nuclear ambitions and the Southern Gas Corridor project, which aims to diversify gas supplies and reduce Europe’s dependence on Russian gas.