WASHINGTON (Realist English). On February 1, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken announced the appointment of Louis Bono as Senior Adviser for negotiations in the Caucasus. His duties will include promotion of the peace process between Armenia and Azerbaijan, as well as the settlement between Georgia and Abkhazia.
“The United States is committed to helping Armenia and Azerbaijan negotiate a comprehensive peace agreement, including a long-term political settlement to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Mr. Bono will engage bilaterally, with likeminded partners, including the European Union, and with international organizations, such as the OSCE, to facilitate direct dialogue between Armenia and Azerbaijan. His appointment also reaffirms the importance the United States places on Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and the role of the Geneva International Discussions on Georgia, the only international format addressing Russia’s ongoing occupation of 20 percent of Georgia’s territory,” Blinken said in a statement.
The State Department emphasizes that Louis Bono is a diplomat with multilateral negotiating experience. Previously, he worked as a US representative at the International Atomic Energy Agency and at the UN office in Vienna; Charge d’affaires at the Vatican; Director for EU Affairs, European Economy and Southern European Affairs at the National Security Council.
He is retired from the Army Reserves, where he was an instructor at West Point and the Army War College.
Bono replaced Philip Reeker, Senior Adviser for Negotiations in the Caucasus and Co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, who took office at the end of August 2022. Reeker also had extensive experience in diplomatic work in Europe and in international organizations: he was Charge d’affaires of the US Embassy in the UK, from March 2019 to August 2021 he served as Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, in different years he worked in Milan as US Consul General, US Ambassador to Northern Macedonia, and he worked in other positions.