Armenia, Azerbaijan hold peace talks with US mediating
Washington, Nov 08: The foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan met with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Washington for peace talks on Monday, only hours after a fresh shootout along their troubled border. The defense ministries of both countries have traded accusations of opening fire.
In recent months only, the conflict has cost hundreds of people their lives.
US takes mediator position after Moscow summit
"The United States is committed to the peace negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan," US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said ahead of the meeting. "Direct dialogue is the best way to a truly durable peace, and we are very pleased to support that," he added, praising "courageous steps by both countries to put the past behind."
A week ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted a summit in which the Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev "agreed not to use force" in the resolution of the conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh territory. Both Armenia and Azerbaijan are former Soviet republics, and Russia is attempting to maintain its position as the power broker between the two sides.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov urged both parties to "refrain from the actions and steps that could lead to an escalation of tensions" on Monday.
Ongoing clashes over Nagorno-Karabakh
In 2020, more than 6,500 people had lost their lives after six weeks of border clashes. Russia brokered a truce that included Armenia giving up territory it had overseen for decades.
However, there have been clashes at the border between the two neighboring countries since the truce was negotiated.
Two months ago, over 280 people on both sides were killed when the two countries exchanged artillery fire again.
Armenia and Azerbaijan fought two wars – in 1991 and 2020 – over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.
los/dj (AFP, Reuters)