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US urges dialogue over renewed Nagorno-Karabakh tensions

Blinken assured Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan "that the United States is watching the situation in and around Nagorno-Karabakh closely," said Price in a separate readout of the call.

Anadolu Agency & AFP WORLD
Published August 05,2022

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke to the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan on Friday to call for dialogue over the conflict in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Blinken, who is on a trip to Asia, spoke by telephone to Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev, State Department spokesman Ned Price said.

"Secretary Blinken assured Prime Minister Pashinyan that the United States is watching the situation in and around Nagorno-Karabakh closely," Price said.

In his conversations with the two leaders, Blinken "urged direct dialogue between Armenia and Azerbaijan to resolve issues related to, or resulting from, the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict," he said.

Armenia has accused Azerbaijan of violating the fall 2020 agreement that ended the 44-day Karabakh War, with Azerbaijan dismissing the charge as "nothing but mere hypocrisy."

Azerbaijan has decried Armenia's failure to fulfill the provisions of the agreement, particularly how Armenian armed forces have not yet fully pulled out of Azerbaijani territories.

Relations between the former Soviet republics have been tense since 1991 when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh (Upper Karabakh), a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.

After new clashes during the fall of 2020, Azerbaijan liberated several cities and over 300 settlements and villages occupied by Armenia for almost 30 years.

The fighting ended in November 2020 with a Russia-brokered deal.