Photo TURAN.

Photo TURAN.

The U.S. State Department on Tuesday "made clear that the closure of the Lachin corridor has severe humanitarian implications," the Department spokesperson Ned Price told TURAN's U.S. correspondent during a daily press briefing, following his tweet on the matter.

"We call on the Government of Azerbaijan to restore free movement through the corridor," Price said. "The way forward is through negotiations."

Price earlier tweeted that closure of the Lachin Corridor "has severe humanitarian implications and sets back the peace process."

In response to TURAN's questions during daily briefing, he went on to add:  "I want to be especially clear that any disruption – and we’ve seen reports of disruption to energy infrastructure – any disruption to energy infrastructure could precipitate a humanitarian crisis, especially as we’re entering the winter months. If deliberate, it’s unacceptable to target the civilian population of Nagorno-Karabakh."

TURAN also asked Price whether he thought the absence of a US ambassador on the ground in the new year would drain Washington's efforts, given that the U.S. Embassies in both Azerbaijan and Armenia are currently led by charge d'affaires.

"We are in the fortunate position of having very capable and effective stewards of our diplomacy at our missions around the world where we don’t have a confirmed ambassador in place. These dedicated members of the Foreign Service have helped us carry forward the President’s foreign policy vision, the Secretary’s foreign policy vision, and have helped us to address many of the most urgent challenges that we face," Price said.

Nevertheless, he added, "we continue to note the long queue of nominees who are awaiting Senate confirmation".

"As of earlier this month, there were some 50 nominees who were awaiting confirmation. We continue to ask the Senate to move swiftly on these nominees, knowing that no other country, certainly no other major power around the world, would tie its hands behind its back the way that we have had to do given the lack of Senate-confirmed ambassadors in place in many of our most important missions around the world," Price said.

"So we’re going to continue to work very closely with the Congress on this to identify and advance opportunities to see more Senate-confirmed ambassadors be in place at our posts around the world," he concluded.

UPDATE: Late on Tuesday, the Senate confirmed Kristina Kvien to be U.S. Ambassador to Armenia. Biden's ambassador nominee to Azerbaijan, Mark Libby, is yet to be cleared by the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee.

Alex Raufoglu

Washington D.C.

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