The United States is going to continue to play a role in engaging with Azerbaijani and Armenian leadership at the highest levels to pursue a dignified and durable peace. Vedant Patel, Principal Deputy Spokesperson of the US Department of State, noted this at Tuesday’s Department press briefing, when asked whether the United States will step up and defend Armenia against “potential Russian aggression,” given Moscow's reaction to Armenia's ratification of the Rome Statute.
"We respect Armenia’s sovereignty and independence, and we’ll leave it to Armenia’s Government to comment on its legislative processes, of course. We respect the right of every country to join the ICC and have been encouraged by many states, including Armenia, that have undertaken commitments to promote justice, accountability for genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity," Patel said.
A US State Department principal deputy spokesperson reiterated their “call for a longer-term, independent, international monitoring mission in Nagorno-Karabakh to provide transparency and reassurances that the rights and securities of ethnic Armenians will be protected, particularly for those who may wish to return, and for the protection of cultural heritage sites, which all of course is in line with Azerbaijan’s public statements and their international obligations as well."
Commenting on the presence of Russian peacekeepers in Karabakh, Patel noted that he does not “want to speculate" on this topic.
"Of course, that that kind of presence continues to be concerning. But the United States is going to continue to remain focused on engaging with Azerbaijani and Armenian leadership on this, and doing whatever we can to continue to have a dignified and durable peace on this," he added.
According to Patel, the US appreciates the statements by the UN spokesperson regarding the situation in Karabakh after the UN team's visit there.
"But that does not change the United States’ point of view on this. As I just said to Alex, we continue to believe, even in the light of the UN visit, that there is a strong desire and a need for a longer-term, independent international monitoring mission in Nagorno-Karabakh. We think that that will provide transparency; we think that it will provide the appropriate reassurances for the various rights and securities that we continue to be deeply concerned about," the US State Department principal deputy spokesperson added.