United States has appointed a new co-chairman of the Minsk Group

Philip Reeker. Source: US Embassy & Consulates in the United Kingdom Official Website

Philip Ricker will represent Washington in the debates.

Philip Ricker has been appointed the new senior adviser of the United State’s State Department on the Caucasus. He will also be the American co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group.

The US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said that the United States is committed to helping Armenia and Azerbaijan negotiate a long-term political settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict:

“Ambassador Ricker will engage on a bilateral basis with like-minded partners such as the European Union and, as co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, will facilitate direct dialogue between Armenia and Azerbaijan”.

Blinken added that Philip Ricker will be the leading spokesperson of the United States in the international Geneva discussions in this critical period since “he has a great experience in Europe and international organizations”.

Ambassador Ricker will replace Laura Oka, who was appointed as the American co-chair of the Minsk Group in June of this year.

From March 2019 to August 2021, Ricker served as the assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs. He has also served as political adviser to the commander of the European Command of the United States in Germany, the consul general in Milan, the deputy assistant of the secretary of state for the Balkans.

The history of the Minsk Group began with the meeting of the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the OSCE on March 24, 1992 in Helsinki. At that meeting, the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh was discussed, and a decision was made to convene the CSCE Minsk Conference on the peaceful resolution of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict.

On December 5-6, 1994, the co-chairmanship institute was established at the CSCE Summit held in Budapest. After that, it was decided to appoint two co-chairs to the Minsk conference and to hold the meetings of the Minsk Group under their joint co-chairs.

Since January 1997, the OSCE Minsk Process has been chaired by the USA, Russia and France as co-chairs.

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