U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday spoke separately with both Azerbaijani President Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Pashinyan to reaffirm U.S. support for progress between the two countries on a durable and dignified peace agreement, TURAN's Washington correspondent reports.

In his calls with Aliyev bBinken "commended" him for last week’s announcement that Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed to use the 1991 Alma Ata declaration as the basis for border delimitation and emphasized its importance to the two sides concluding a durable and dignified peace, the State Department said in a readout of the call.

"The Secretary urged President Aliyev to keep up the momentum with his Armenian counterpart, reiterating U.S. willingness to support those efforts,"  reads the readout.

Blinken also "underscored our desire for a strong U.S.-Azerbaijan bilateral relationship, noting our efforts to cooperate on mutual energy, climate, and connectivity goals, and to ensure the success of COP 29 in Baku," State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said.

According to him, Bilnken also welcomed Azerbaijan's release of Gubad Ibadoglu to house arrest as a humanitarian gesture and called for his full, expeditious release.

"Secretary Blinken again urged Azerbaijan to adhere to its international human rights obligations and commitments and release those unjustly detained in Azerbaijan," per State Department's readout.

According to the press service of the Azerbaijani President, Ilham Aliyev emphasised that the start of demarcation works on the border of the two countries after the delimitation process is a positive step.

Ilham Aliyev stressed that he would spare no efforts to continue the peace agenda and said that Azerbaijan supports the creation of an integrated model of regional cooperation of the South Caucasus without any dividing lines in the region.

During his calls with Armenian Prime Minister Pashinyan, Blinken once again reiterated that the U.S. welcomes Armenia and Azerbaijan’s agreement to use the Alma Ata Declaration as a basis for border delimitation.

He also noted "ongoing U.S. efforts to support Armenia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and for Prime Minister Pashinyan’s vision for a prosperous, democratic, and independent future for Armenia," the State Department said.

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