Azerbaijan: Pelosi's unfair statements are a blow to peace efforts

9/18/2022 10:34:18 PM
 Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, right, and U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi pose for a photo prior to their talks in Yerevan, Armenia, September 18, 2022.
 photo: Armenian Prime Minister Press Office via AP
Pelosi condemns the attacks of Azerbaijan and weeps for the victims of the "Armenian genocide."

On Sunday, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi strongly condemned what she described as the "unlawful" border attacks by Azerbaijan on Armenia. She used her visit to Russia's military ally to pledge US support for Armenia's sovereignty.

During an interview in Yerevan, Pelosi noted that her visit was essential in the wake of "the illegal and deadly attacks launched by Azerbaijan on Armenian lands", which led to border clashes that killed more than two hundred people.

"We strongly condemn these attacks," Pelosi said. "It was the Azeris who started this, and this must be recognized." She stated that it was clear that the border fighting had erupted due to the Azeri attacks on Armenia and that the chronology of the conflict should be clarified.

Pelosi noted that the United States is listening to Armenia regarding its defense needs, adding that Washington wants to help and support Armenia in what she described as a global struggle between democracy and authoritarianism.

Last week, a senior Armenian official expressed his dissatisfaction with the response of a Russian-led military coalition to Yerevan's request for help. Armenia asked the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization to intervene but only sent a fact-finding team.

"Of course, we are very upset," Parliament Speaker Alain Simonyan quoted the Interfax news agency as telling national television, likening the CSTO to a pistol that does not shoot.

Remarkably, Armenia has been disappointed with the response of the Russian-led coalition, Pelosi said. Pelosi visited the Armenian Genocide Memorial, where she was seen shedding tears and laying a bouquet of roses.

On Saturday, the Congress delegation arrived in Armenia, where a ceasefire held for three days after clashes broke out with neighboring Azerbaijan, which killed more than 200 soldiers from both sides.

Azerbaijan on Sunday criticized US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who accused Baku of igniting a border conflict with Armenia, and said the "unfounded and unfair" statements represented a severe blow to peace efforts.

"The unjust and baseless accusations leveled by Pelosi against Azerbaijan are unacceptable... It is well known that Pelosi is a pro-Armenian politician," the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

She added that the statements were "a serious blow to the efforts to normalize relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan," describing them as "Armenian propaganda."

The ceasefire went into effect on Wednesday evening after two days of violent clashes, the largest in nearly two years.

Armenia and Azerbaijan traded accusations over the clashes, with Armenian authorities accusing Baku of unprovoked aggression while Azeri officials said their country was responding to the Armenian attacks.

Pashinyan said at least 135 Armenian soldiers were killed in the clashes. On Friday, the Azeri Defense Ministry announced the killing of 77 soldiers.

The two ex-Soviet states have been locked in a decades-old conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, which is part of Azerbaijan but controlled by ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since the separatist war ended 1994.

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