US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, on June 20 to discuss advancing the peace agenda between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

During the conversation, Blinken praised the progress made towards normalizing relations between the two countries. He reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to supporting this process and urged both parties to sign a peace agreement soon. Blinken also emphasized the importance the US places on its bilateral relations with Azerbaijan, highlighting constructive cooperation on climate change and energy goals. He assured that the US supports stronger bilateral ties and will spare no effort to ensure the successful conclusion of COP29, which will be hosted in Azerbaijan.

President Aliyev responded by noting that peace has been secured in the region and reiterated that Azerbaijan has been the primary advocate for the peace agreement. He stressed the significance of advancing the normalization process and peace agenda on a bilateral basis. Aliyev appreciated the US’s determination to contribute to the peace efforts and emphasized the need for Armenia to cease territorial claims against Azerbaijan, based on constitutional and legal principles.

Aliyev also called for the official termination of the OSCE Minsk Group and related institutions, deeming them obsolete remnants of the past conflict. He expressed satisfaction with the longstanding cooperation between Azerbaijan and the US in the energy sector and the effective collaboration on climate change initiatives, particularly in preparation for COP29. Aliyev welcomed the US’s support for the successful conclusion of COP29 and underscored Azerbaijan’s commitment to strengthening bilateral relations with the US.

The conversation also touched on the exchange of high-level letters, mutual delegation visits, and discussions on human rights , democracy, and respect for the rule of law in both countries

He  urged Azerbaijan to adhere to its international human rights obligations and commitments and releasing all those unjustly detained. He called on Azerbaijan to do so expeditiously.