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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Azeris Delay Visit Over Rights Report

BAKU, Azerbaijan -- Azerbaijan has postponed a high-level visit to the United States because of what it claimed were changes in U.S. wording describing its dispute with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh.

The Azeri Foreign Ministry warned that the issue "may become a serious impediment to further security-related cooperation between our countries" -- a possible reference to Azerbaijan's contribution to the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq.

The government postponed the two-day visit for security talks because of "changes to the provisions" on Nagorno-Karabakh in the State Department's 2006 report on human rights abroad, a ministry statement said Sunday.

The changes "distort the essence of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict" and their introduction "puts in doubt the U.S. position of the 'honest broker' in the resolution of the conflict," the statement said.

There was speculation in Azerbaijan that the government was angry at the absence in the State Department's country report on human rights practices in Armenia of a statement that Nagorno-Karabakh is Azeri territory occupied by Armenia.

The State Department's country report on Armenia says: "Armenian forces occupy large portions of Azeri territory adjacent to Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenian officials maintain that they do not 'occupy' Nagorno-Karabakh itself."