Pelosi stated the journey had been deliberate earlier than deadly clashes erupted Sept. 12 alongside the border between Azerbaijan and Armenia close to the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh in a flare-up of a decades-long battle, as Azerbaijan could have been attempting to benefit from Russia’s preoccupation with its invasion of Ukraine. Armenia is a detailed ally of Russia, whereas Azerbaijan is aligned with Turkey.
Navy officers in Azerbaijan acknowledged the strikes however accused Armenia of a “wide-scale provocation,” planting mines close to border amenities and shelling Azerbaijani positions earlier on Monday. Armenia known as these allegations “an absolute lie” and blamed Baku for the renewed hostilities.
At a joint information convention Sunday with Armenian Nationwide Meeting President Alen Simonyan, Pelosi stated it was clear the assaults had been initiated by Azerbaijan and should cease, and that america ought to use its affect and leverage to indicate help for Armenia.
“The fast response from america was to cease the violence and to have a cease-fire,” Pelosi stated. “Our delegation had been very outspoken, saying that this was initiated by Azeris and that there needs to be recognition of that and the way that may cease.”
Pelosi stated President Biden was a robust supporter of Armenia, and vowed the 2 nations would “work collectively on what the following steps could also be” to handle the flare up of violence.
“The democracy in Armenia is a worth to the world, a pleasure to the world,” Pelosi stated. “We now have to enlarge the difficulty although … What does safety in Armenia imply to regional and world safety? What does democracy in Armenia imply to finish the combat between democracy and autocracy which is happening on the earth now? In each instances, it means an awesome deal.”
Pelosi’s workplace stated she is the very best rating U.S. official to go to Armenia for the reason that nation’s independence in 1991 from the previous Soviet Union.
Different members of the U.S. delegation embody Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., (D-N.J.) chairman of the Home Vitality and Commerce Committee, Rep. Jackie Speier (D.-Calif.), who’s of Armenian descent, and Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-Calif.), who’s of Armenian Assyrian descent.
The interval main as much as the go to has been marked by days of heavy combating that signify the biggest outbreak of hostilities since a full-scale struggle in 2020, wherein Azerbaijan recaptured territories that Armenia had occupied for many years. The six-week struggle ended with navy victory for Azerbaijan and a fragile Moscow-backed truce, wherein Armenia surrendered giant swaths of territory.
The Southern Caucasus area has lengthy been a supply of diplomatic sensitivities for america. However after lobbying by members of Congress and Armenian Individuals, Biden final yr formally acknowledged a bloodbath of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire within the early twentieth century as a genocide, a time period that america had lengthy prevented for concern of harming its relationship with Turkey. Historians estimate that 1.5 million Armenians had been killed in a marketing campaign of compelled marches and mass killings throughout World Struggle I.
Pelosi invoked these deaths within the context of the persevering with struggle in Ukraine. “It’s the ethical obligation of all to always remember: an obligation that has taken on heightened urgency as atrocities are perpetrated across the globe, together with by Russia in opposition to Ukraine,” Pelosi stated in an announcement forward of her journey.
Mary Ilyushina contributed to this report.