Azerbaijan International
Spring 1997 (5.1)
Page 17

U.S. and Nagorno-Karabakh

Madeleine Albright"Another dispute tangled by history and geography concerns Armenia, Azerbaijan and the status of Nagorno-Karabakh. The good news here is that the cease-fire has now held for more than two years. The bad news is that progress under the OSCE's Minsk process has been agonizingly slow. We have very substantial economic, political and humanitarian interests in this region, and are prepared to play a more visible role in Helping to arrange a settlement. One step that Congress could take to increase our influence would be to lift restrictions on nonmilitary assistance to Azerbaijan."

Madeleine Albright, newly appointed Secretary of State, commenting on Nagorno-Karabakh before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on January 8, 1997.

Need for Alternative Energy Supplies

Robert C. Byrd"If it is true that 2 to 3 million barrels, perhaps more, could flow daily from the Caspian region in the near future, then the development of the region compels the highest levels of attention of this city [Washington, D.C.] on a sustained basis. the most important war we have fought since Korea from a geo-strategic perspective was the defense of Kuwait in 1991.

That action was as much driven by the need to maintain secure supplies of oil from the Middle East as it was to punish naked aggression. The Persian Gulf region will continue to pose uncertainties, and it is imperative that America develop alternative energy sources to hedge against them."

Senator Robert C. Byrd [Democrat-West Virginia] speaking at the U.S.-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce Trade Conference in Washington, D.C., on February 18, 1997.

U.S. Policy Toward Iran is Contradictory
"Unfortunately, the U.S. embargo of Iran pushes the Caucasian and Central Asian states back into Russia's orbit, for Russia provides the only current alternative to pipeline and rail systems and ports. We have fallen into a peculiar paradox: we aim to strengthen the new states to stand on their own feet and resist Russian pressure, while our policy toward Iran promotes the opposite course."

Paul B. Heinze and S. Enders Wimbush in "A New Policy for a New Middle East," published in the Wall Street Journal on January 31, 1997. Heinze formerly served in the National Security Council, and Wimbush, former Director of Radio Liberty, now works for Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC).

Economic Impact of Azerbaijan

Richard Armitage"I do not want to. . .suggest that Baku is the hub of the universe or that Azerbaijan is central to the defense and well-being of the United States. Yet, I reject the proposition that Azerbaijan is marginal to American interests and that domestic political considerations in this country dictate an arm's-length relationship. We should recognize that Azerbaijan's emergence as a regional economic power will have a major positive impact on both Armenia and Georgia, a fact not lost on the leaders of both countries."

Ambassador Richard Armitage addressing the U.S.-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce Trade Conference in Washington, D.C., on February 18, 1997. From 1992-93, Armitage served as the coordinator for U.S. assistance to the newly independent states (NIS).

Weakening of Russian Dominance?

Paul Goble"The efforts that Azerbaijan and Georgia are making to cooperate will contribute to their own independence even as it lessens Russian dominance in the region. Every time two or more countries within the CIS [Commonwealth of Independent States] decide to cooperate with each other more than with other CIS states, the importance of that institution declines not only for them but for all other states as well. And as a result, the cooperation accord that Shevardnadze and Aliyev signed in Baku this week may prove more strategic in its implications than either intends--even if not one drop of Azerbaijani oil, in fact, flows across Georgia anytime soon."

Paul Goble, Assistant Director of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, in a broadcast analysis on February 20, 1997.

From Azerbaijan International (5.1) Spring 1997.
© Azerbaijan International 1997. All rights reserved.

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