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In Armenia, Pelosi slams Azerbaijan's 'illegal' attacks

September 18, 2022

The US House speaker stressed that it was important the chronology of the latest flare of clashes be made clear, condemning the "assault on the sovereignty of Armenia."

US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks during a joint news conference with Speaker of the National Assembly of Armenia Alen Simonyan in Yerevan
Pelosi the most senior US official to travel to Yerevan since Armenia's independenceImage: Stephan Poghosyan/PHOTOLURE/via REUTERS

US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday condemned what she described as "illegal" border attacks by Azerbaijan on Armenia.

Pelosi was on a three-day visit to Yerevan. She is the highest-ranking US official to visit Armenia since it gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

Her visit came just days after Armenia announced a cease-fire with Azerbaijan following a renewed flare of violence that left more than 200 people dead.  

What did Pelosi say in Armenia? 

The US House speaker said her trip was significant after the "illegal and deadly attacks by Azerbaijan on Armenian territory," decrying the "assault on the sovereignty of Armenia."

She said that it was important to stress the chronology of the conflict. "This was initiated by the Azeris and there has to be recognition of that," Pelosi said.  

Yerevan said that Baku had shelled at least six Armenia settlements inside the border on September 13, triggering a response from Armenia. 

Baku slammed Pelosi's comments. "The unsubstantiated and unfair accusations leveled by Pelosi against Azerbaijan are unacceptable," Azerbaijan's Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

"This is a serious blow to the efforts to normalize relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan," the ministry added.

Clashes erupt between Azerbaijan and Armenia

'Disappointed' by Russia 

Analysts have noted that Azerbaijan saw an opportunity in Russia's preoccupation with Ukraine and attacked Armenia.  

Last week, a senior Armenian official expressed discontent with Moscow's response — or lack thereof — to Armenia's request from the Russia-dominated military alliance, the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), for help.

According to the Interfax news agency, parliamentary speaker Alen Simonyan told national television that Armenia was "very dissatisfied" and its expectations "were not justified," likening the CSTO to a gun that did not shoot bullets.

On her visit, Pelosi said that Yerevan's disappointment was interesting.

Alen Simonyan, Armenia's parliament speaker, thanked the US for brokering the cease-fire after earlier attempts by Moscow toward a truce failed

"We are grateful to the United States for the agreement of the fragile cease-fire reached by their mediation," he told a news conference alongside Pelosi.

fb/aw (AFP, Reuters)