US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Armenia's Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Saturday that his country had "deep concern" about the Armenian population in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, reaffirming US support for Armenia's sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity.
In a telephone call with Armenian Prime Minister, Blinken underscored the United States is calling on Azerbaijan to protect civilians and uphold its obligations to respect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of the residents of Nagorno-Karabakh and to ensure its forces comply with international humanitarian law, State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said.
Blinken held three rounds of peace talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan to reduce tensions on Nagorno-Karabakh, which includes a majority population of ethnic Armenians who formed a breakaway self-styled state in the 1990s.
Azerbaijan on Tuesday announced that it had launched a "limited" military operation in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region. On Wednesday, it halted the operation after reaching an agreement requiring the Armenian forces to lay down their arms, withdraw from their battle positions and military outposts and be subjected to complete disarmament, and that all weapons and heavy equipment be handed over to the Azerbaijani army.
Armenia and Azerbaijan had previously engaged in two wars over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The most recent conflict occurred in 2020 and ended with a fragile truce. However, the two countries have not yet been able to reach a lasting peaceful settlement following these recent military confrontations, despite mediation efforts led by the European Union, the United States, and Russia, each separately. (QNA)