October 20, 2020
Many of you have written open letters to me over the past two weeks regarding the conflict in and outside of Nagorno-Karabakh and the terrible costs of this violence. The news that there have been losses among our alumni has been a source of particular sorrow in a situation that is already deeply painful for all involved.
Through your letters, you are expressing the values we hope are instilled in participants of all U.S. Embassy exchange programs. You are exercising your right to free speech and are focusing that right of free speech to directly communicate to the U.S. Embassy your concerns. I respect that right and have given close attention to what you have told me in your letters and messages.
As the U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, I have been supporting the engagement of the United States at the highest levels to end the violence and help resume a peaceful settlement process. That work continues, and your input has shaped and will continue to shape our efforts to stop the fighting and seek a peaceful resolution of the conflict.
I join the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs in calling for full observance of international obligations to protect civilian populations, and the United States has maintained the belief that participation in the escalation of violence by external parties undermines efforts to achieve lasting peace in the region. I appreciate that there is frustration with the time it is taking to end the hostilities and the role you would like for the United States to take in responding to the conflict. I can tell you that high-level U.S. officials have been working tirelessly since the conflict began to help bring an end to the violence. The Secretary of State, the Deputy Secretary, and the White House are fully engaged to achieve a ceasefire and return the sides to talks. In particular, Andrew Schofer, who serves as the U.S. Co-Chair of the Minsk Group, has been closely involved with the Minsk Group discussions and seeking a path to peace.
Again, thank you for sharing your views with me — I wanted to respond directly to you, our valued alumni, with this letter. Please be assured that the U.S. Embassy and the U.S. Government will continue to work for peace in Armenia and the region.
Lynne M. Tracy Ambassador
READ open letters to US Ambassador to Armenia Lynne Tracy from FLEX Alumni of Armenia, the US State Department’s Professional Fellows Program and Fulbright Program Alumni.