The below is attributable to Spokesperson Ned Price:
Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke today with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. Secretary Blinken expressed appreciation for the positive steps Azerbaijan and Armenia are taking towards reaching a sustainable peace agreement, including recent direct talks between the foreign ministers and leaders. Secretary Blinken welcomed Azerbaijan’s release of 17 POWs to Armenia on October 4 and urged President Aliyev to continue time-bound and measurable steps to support the peace process. Secretary Blinken reiterated U.S. support, including for clear border delimitation, transportation linkages, recovery and identification of missing persons, return of detainees, and other issues. He underscored the importance of discussions about the rights and securities for the residents of Nagorno-Karabakh and need for both sides to maintain the cease-fire and focus on a negotiated agreement as the only path to a lasting peace.