On June 6, 2012, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton traveled to Baku, Azerbaijan, where she met with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov, and held a roundtable discussion with civil society representatives.
In her discussions with President Aliyev and Foreign Minister Mammadyarov, they focused on three key areas: security, energy, and democratic reform. Secretary Clinton said, "On security, I reiterated my appreciation for Azerbaijan's past contributions in Iraq and Kosovo and its vital ongoing work in Afghanistan. Azerbaijan is essential to the transportation of troops and nonlethal supplies that support the international effort in Afghanistan."
She continued, "Regarding energy, the United States works closely with Azerbaijan on energy security. It is a common strategic interest for both countries and one of the great global challenges of our time."
Secretary Clinton said, "[T]he president and foreign minister and I spoke about the importance of fostering a vibrant civil society, embracing and furthering democratic reforms, which will add greatly to the long-term success and prosperity of Azerbaijan. The United States remains strongly committed to working with the government and people to advance respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms."
In closing, Secretary Clinton said, "For 20 years the United States and Azerbaijan have been working to build a constructive, comprehensive relationship that benefits the people of this country and the larger region. There's been a lot of progress made in 20 years. One only has to open one's eyes to see the progress that has occurred. But we need to go further. I have great confidence that Azerbaijan can both continue the path of economic prosperity and continue on a path toward political reform."