The US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinkencalled during the night of this Monday the president of Azerbaijan, Ilham Alievto call for an end to hostilities towards Armenia, hours after the Armenian Ministry of Defense denounced new Azerbaijani attacks with artillery and drones.
“(Blinken) stressed that the United States will press for the fighting to cease immediately and to reach a peace agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan.”, detailed the spokesman for the US State Department, Ned Price, in a statement.
Blinken himself already said yesterday that he felt “deeply concerned” about the attacks, while France announced on Tuesday that it would take the confrontation to the UN Security Council, where it holds the presidency.
For his part, the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterresasked this Tuesday “maximum containment” to Armenia and Azerbaijan after the latest armed clashes on the border between the two countries.
Guterres, through his spokesman, declared himself “deeply concerned” about the return of violence and called for “immediate steps” to reduce tension.
In addition, he called on the two sides to resolve all issues through dialogue and implement previous agreements, and expressed support for all mediation efforts.
The Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyanassured this Tuesday that the Azerbaijani aggression has left at least 49 dead among the Armenian military and that “this figure is not definitive.”
“At the moment, we have 49 (military) dead and, unfortunately, it is not the definitive figure”declared Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian before Parliament.
The Armenian Ministry of Health also reported three civilians injured, one of them seriously. He also denounced the Azerbaijani forces attacks on Armenian ambulances and their medical centerswhich he called “a gross violation of international humanitarian law and international conventions.”
Azerbaijan, for its part, accused Yerevan of acts of sabotage in the Dashkesán, Kelbajár and Lachin directions of the Azerbaijan-Armenian border, and reported “losses” among its military personnel, without specifying their number.
Azerbaijan and Armenia have been at odds for decades over the Nagorno-Karabakh regionwhich is part of Azerbaijan but has been controlled by ethnic Armenian forces since a war of independence that ended in 1994.
Although clashes on their shared border have been frequent since the 2020 war ended, Tuesday’s fighting was on an unprecedented scale.
“The escalation is a consequence of a blockage in the peace talks,” he stressed to the AFP analyst Tatoul Hakobyan, who pointed out that the conflict in Ukraine “changed the balance of forces in the region”, as Russia, supported by Armenia, was “at a bad time”.
According to him, Azerbaijan would like to take advantage of this situation to “get concessions from Armenia as soon as possible”.
historically complicated, relations between Yerevan and Baku continue to be poisoned by their dispute over the Nagorno-Karabakh regionan enclave mostly populated by Armenians who declared themselves independent from Azerbaijan with the support of Armenia.
Neighboring countries have fought two wars, one in the 1990s and the other in 2020, over this Armenian-populated Azerbaijani enclave.
The six weeks of fighting in 2020 left more than 6,500 dead and ended with a Russian-brokered ceasefire.
Under the deal, Armenia ceded parts of territory it had controlled for decades, and Moscow sent some 2,000 soldiers to oversee the fragile truce.
(With information from EFE)
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