Washington Considers Diplomacy Only Path to Peace in South Caucasus – Blinken

Azerbaijanian border gather at a tent as they control their side of the new border between the region of Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan, near the village of Berdashen, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020InternationalIndiaAfricaWASHINGTON (Sputnik) – US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan in a phone call that direct dialogue between Baku and Yerevan is the only way to resolve tensions between the two countries, the US State Department informs. “Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke with Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan today to underscore the importance of Armenia-Azerbaijan peace discussions and pledged continued US support,” US State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a Saturday statement.”Secretary Blinken reiterated that direct dialogue and diplomacy are the only path to a durable peace in the South Caucasus.”Blinken also expressed support for Pashinyan’s commitment to the peace process, Miller added. The US, Russia and the European Union have taken turns to try and negotiate a peace pact between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the hope of ending their long-running conflict. The regional rivals have been involved in two major military conflicts over the Azerbaijani Armenian-dominated breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

The decades-long conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh flared up again in September 2020, marking the worst escalation since the 1990s. Hostilities ended with a Russia-brokered trilateral declaration of ceasefire signed in November 2020.

The two former Soviet countries agreed to the deployment of Russian peacekeepers in the region; however, occasional clashes have since occurred on the border.

On April 30, Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan is expected to visit Washington where he will discuss the normalization of relations between Baku and Yerevan. Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday that an agreement on an Azerbaijani-Armenian foreign ministers’ meeting in Russia had been reached, with the exact date to be announced later.


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