Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said that the latest statements and actions taken by the US have “seriously damaged” relations between Washington and Baku.
According to a statement by the Azerbaijani presidency, Alivey said this during a phone call with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday night.
The Azerbaijani president said that the “remarks about our country, made by the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State James O’Brien at the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Subcommittee on Europe hearing on November 15, 2023, were biased, failed to reflect reality and were rejected by Azerbaijan,” the statement said.
“With the aim of normalization of relationship, Secretary Blinken has asked to allow the visit of the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State James O’Brien in December to Azerbaijan,” the statement said, adding: “Aliyev has agreed to this proposal on the condition that after this visit the unfounded ban on the visits of Azerbaijani high-level officials to the United States will be lifted. Secretary Blinken has accepted that.”
The two sides discussed issues of bilateral relations and efforts for normalization of ties between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Aliyev emphasized that Armenia's 70-day delay in responding to Azerbaijan's peace agreement draft “demonstrates again that Armenia misuses the text of the peace treaty as a pretext for the prolongation of negotiations process.”
Aliyev and Blinken also exchanged views on another meeting of a special commission on the border delimitation, which is scheduled for Nov. 30 at the Armenian-Azerbaijani "conditional border."
Relations between the two former Soviet republics have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.
Most of the territory was liberated by Azerbaijan during a war in the fall of 2020, which ended after a Russian-brokered peace agreement and also opened the door to normalization.
Azerbaijan established full sovereignty in Karabakh after an "anti-terrorism operation" in September, after which separatist forces in the region surrendered.