US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi has publicly blamed Azerbaijan for renewed conflict in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, even though Baku has defied it.
Speaking in Armenia on Sunday, Pelosi said, “Our meeting again was of special significance to us because of the focus on security in the wake of the illegal and murderous attacks by Azerbaijan on Armenian territory.”
“We strongly condemn these attacks,” she added, adding that they “threaten the prospects for a much-needed peace agreement” between the two sides.
Azerbaijan strongly condemned the US official’s statements, which it said distorted the situation in the region and were unacceptable.
Baku said it had to respond to Armenian provocations in Nagorno-Karabakh, even though Armenia blames Azerbaijan for the renewed violence.
The two countries fought a brief war in the region in 2020. Russian peacekeepers imposed a ceasefire in the region, although this came under pressure in September.
Armenia said Azerbaijan bombed at least six Armenian settlements within the border shortly after midnight on September 13, attacking civilian and military infrastructure with drones and heavy-caliber artillery. Yerevan said it was an unjustified aggression.
Azerbaijan rejects these allegations with the support of Turkey. Baku says Armenian sabotage units attempted to clear the Azerbaijani positions, prompting the soldiers to respond. Armenia says that the novel is an Azerbaijani misinformation.
The US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, also expressed concerns that Russia might “stir up fate” between the two countries to distract attention from its actions in Ukraine.
On the ground in Nagorno-Karabakh, the Russian-backed Collective Security Treaty Organization is assessing the damage. Armenia is a member of the organization.
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Anatoly Sidorov, said they are trying to be as objective as possible and work with facts to prove what really happened.
The two former Soviet countries have been locked in a decades-old conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, an ethnic Armenian region within Azerbaijan.
The region has been under the control of Armenia-backed ethnic Armenian forces since the separatist war there ended in 1994. However, during the six-week war in 2020, Azerbaijan recaptured large parts of Nagorno-Karabakh.