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President Pelosi strongly condemns ‘unlawful and murderous attacks by Azerbaijan’ during her visit to Armenia

United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi holds a press conference at the Parliament Building in Yerevan on September 18, 2022. – United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on September 18, 2022 condemned the attack of Azerbaijan against Armenia, a few days after the border clashes between the sworn enemies of the Caucasus claimed the lives of more than 200 people. (Photo by Karen MINASYAN/AFP) (Photo by KAREN MINASYAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Karen Minassian | AFP | Getty Images

Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi delivered remarks in Armenia on Sunday to express her support for the nation following the deadly clashes with neighboring Azerbaijan.

At a press conference, Pelosi strongly condemned “Azerbaijan’s unlawful and deadly attacks” and added that the violence “threatens prospects for a much-needed peace agreement.” She said the United States was monitoring the situation closely and continued to support a negotiated settlement.

Fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan erupted this week as part of a decades-long standoff over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. The clash marks the biggest escalation in the conflict since 2020, when the two nations engaged in a war over territory that left thousands dead. Each country blames the other for the renewed conflict and a ceasefire came into effect on Wednesday.

The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry called Pelosi’s statement “deeply regrettable” and “unfair”. write in a press release Sunday that it is “a serious blow to the efforts to normalize relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan”.

Pelosi’s office announcement that she would lead a congressional delegation to Armenia on Saturday to underscore the United States’ commitment to Armenia’s security, democratic governance and economic prosperity. Pelosi is the most senior US official to visit Armenia since its independence in 1991, the statement said.

Last year, President Joe Biden officially recognized the killing of 1.5 million Armenians by forces of the Ottoman Empire in the early 20th century as genocide. Biden’s landmark statement is a major break with past US administrations, which avoided calling the atrocities genocide due to concerns about alienation from Turkey.

Pelosi laid a wreath at the Tsitsernakaberd Armenian Genocide Memorial during her visit, write on twitter“Congress pledges to always honor our collective responsibility to uphold the memory of the dead, to affirm the history of this tragedy, and to ensure that such horror never happens again.”