Blinken urges Azerbaijan, Armenia to end hostilities

AFP , Tuesday 13 Sep 2022

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday urged Azerbaijan and Armenia to reach a peace settlement in calls to their leaders after the neighbors' worst fighting since their 2020 war.

Antony Blinken
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday, Sept. 12, 2022. AP


Speaking to reporters as he visited Purdue University in Indiana, Blinken said he told Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan in separate phone calls that the conflict was "in no one's interest."

Blinken said he "urged them to do everything possible to pull back from conflict and get back to talking about a lasting peace."

The American effort comes as Moscow, whose relationship with Washington has nosedived over Russia's invasion of Ukraine, said earlier Tuesday it had brokered a ceasefire between the former Soviet republics.

Blinken said there were "always concerns" about Moscow's role but added: "If Russia can actually use its own influence to calm the waters... that would be a positive thing."

Phil Reeker, a veteran US diplomat recently put in charge of jump-starting Caucasus negotiations, was in the Azerbaijani capital Baku on Tuesday on a previously scheduled visit.

Armenia said that nearly 50 of its soldiers were killed and accused Azerbaijan of trying to advance on its territory after gains in the 2020 war.

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