America Should Be Doing More to Bring About a Peaceful Resolution of Armenia’s Unlawful Occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh
Interview with Congress Mr. Michael E. McMahon of New York.
AT: Dear Mr. McMahon, first of all, it would be interesting to know your opinion about US-Azerbaijani political relations.
As a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs it has always been very clear to me and I have always advocated that Azerbaijan is an important ally of the United States.
Since the people of Azerbaijan fought and died on the streets of Baku for their independence from the Soviet Union in the early 90s, it is obvious that the people of Azerbaijan strive to live
enjoying independence in a democracy. This was also the case in the first Republic of Azerbaijan which granted women the right to vote in the early 1920s. Azerbaijan has stood by America in the war in Afghanistan by providing troops and a means of passage for soldiers and material as we withdraw.
AT:Azerbaijan is regarded as a strategic ally of the United States in the South Caucasus. Although it is also a co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, no serious steps can be sensed in the Karabakh issue. What can you tell us about it?
Accordingly, the United States needs to be aware that the people of Azerbaijan, its greatest natural resource, are aligned with and supportive of the United States and Western Europe. Secondly, Azerbaij an’s wealth in hydro carbons and its geographic location for the transportation of oil and gas make her a most strategic ally of the United States. For these reasons, America should be doing more to bring about a peaceful resolution of Armenia’s unlawful occupation of Nagomo-Karabakh. In addition, Armenia’s lurch into Putin’s sphere of influence is great cause for alarm for the region. As Russia has impinged on the sovereignty of one if its neighbors yet again the United States should also do all it can to ensure that it does not keep happening. The lesson of Georgia from 2008 should not be lost. The people of Azerbaijan should not have to worry about Russia once again attempting to annex Baku for its natural resources.
AT:What tangible steps can the United States take in the next few years to reduce Europe’s dependence on Russian gas and oil?
Given the recent events in Ukraine and worries about Moldova, the West must help provide the Southern strategy for delivering hydro carbons to Russia’s current customers. We must advocate for the quick completion of the TANAP pipeline as well as connecting the resources of the Eastern Mediterranean to Europe through Cyprus and Turkey. America should, therefore, push to resolve the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh and the Cyprus issue. I respectfully believe that these are realizable goals that President Obama and Secretary Kerry should focus on.
I also believe that Turkey and the European Union have a significant role to play with the United States in bringing about these diplomatic strategies.