Officially In: Amb Robert Bradtke to the Minsk Group

On September 7, the Office of the Spokesman announced the appointment of Ambassador Robert Bradtke to the OSCE Minsk Group. Full text below:

The Secretary is pleased to announce the appointment of Ambassador Robert Bradtke as the next U.S. OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair. Ambassador Bradtke brings to this position more than thirty-six years of Foreign Service experience and extensive expertise in European security policy. In July of this year, he completed a three year assignment as Chief of Mission at American Embassy Zagreb, Croatia. Prior to that, he served from 2001 to 2004 as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, with responsibility for NATO and the OSCE.

The United States understands the critical importance of achieving a peaceful resolution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. We welcome recent positive dialogues between President Sargsian of Armenia and President Aliyev of Azerbaijan. Secretary Clinton has indicated to the two presidents her strong interest in the Minsk Group’s ongoing efforts to bring the process to a fruitful conclusion, and the Obama Administration is committed to doing everything possible to support this goal.

We have informed the governments of Armenia and Azerbaijan of Ambassador Bradtke’s appointment. Ambassador Bradtke looks forward to his first trip to the region in the coming weeks.

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Transnational Issue (CIA World Factbook):
Armenia supports ethnic Armenian secessionists in Nagorno-Karabakh and since the early 1990s, has militarily occupied 16% of Azerbaijan – Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) continues to mediate dispute; over 800,000 mostly ethnic Azerbaijanis were driven from the occupied lands and Armenia; about 230,000 ethnic Armenians were driven from their homes in Azerbaijan into Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh; Azerbaijan seeks transit route through Armenia to connect to Naxcivan exclave; border with Turkey remains closed over Nagorno-Karabakh dispute; ethnic Armenian groups in Javakheti region of Georgia seek greater autonomy; Armenians continue to emigrate, primarily to Russia, seeking employment

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