February 18th, 2011
 Yesterday, President Ilham Aliyev officially received the new US Ambassador to Azerbaijan, Matthew Byrza. He also met with the main national media outlets.

The county has been without a US ambassador for over a year and a half.

In his speech, Byrza focused on the importance of US-Azerbaijan relations.
“President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have both emphasised the importance of this relationship. The US will continue to support Azerbaijan in the areas security, energy and domestic reform. Most important, he said, was the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh Conflict through the OSCE Minsk Group.”
According to Bryza, peaceful settlement is the only way to properly resolve the conflict. “I hope that a peaceful settlement will bring stability to the whole region, and increase its strategic importance,”  Bryza said. He also thanked Azerbaijan for its role in the fight against terror and its participation in peacekeeping operations in Afghanistan.
He also welcomed the recent anti-corruption measures of government. “We are ready to support the government in sustaining and developing this initiative.”