United Nations, Sep 19 (EFE).- United States State Secretary Antony Blinken met Monday with the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan to mediate in the conflict between the parties after they proclaimed a ceasefire less than a week ago.
It was the first time Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan and his Azeri counterpart Jeyhun Bayramov faced each other since the fighting last week on the border of the two countries, which left more than 210 casualties.
Blinken was the only one who spoke at the beginning of the meeting, which took place in a New York hotel, on the sidelines of the 77th United Nations General Assembly, which begins Tuesday.
“We are encouraged by the fact that the fighting has ceased and that there have been no military actions in recent days,” said the head of US diplomacy who sat at a table between the two parties and the flags of all three representing countries.
“The best path for the whole world is for there to be a strong and sustainable diplomatic relationship,” said Blinken, who also added that “there is a path to lasting peace that resolves differences.”
He thanked the two countries for their efforts to respect the ceasefire announced by Moscow.
Armenia and Azerbaijan, at odds since the 1980s over Nagorno-Karabakh – internationally recognized as Azerbaijani territory but populated by ethnic Armenians – accuse each other of border attacks, which are repeated sporadically.
Clashes broke out Tuesday and Baku attributed the “large-scale provocation” to Yerevan.
Blinken held the meeting with both parties a day after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Yerevan and condemned Azerbaijan’s “deadly attacks” on Armenian territory.
The Armenian government said it appreciated Washington’s “clear” stance on the conflict, while the Azeri government called Pelosi’s statements “unfair” and “unacceptable.”
Turkey, a traditional ally of Azerbaijan, said Monday that Pelosi was “sabotaging diplomatic efforts” in connection with her visit to Yerevan. EFE