ArmInfo.The speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, accused Azerbaijan of launching "illegal and deadly attacks on the Armenian territory" as she visited Yerevan on Sunday just days after border clashes between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces, Azatutyun reports.
"We in our delegation and on behalf of [the U.S.] Congress strongly condemn those attacks, which threaten prospects for a much-needed peace agreement," Pelosi said after talks with Armenian parliament speaker Alen Simonian.
"We continue to watch the situation closely and we continue to support a negotiated, comprehensive and sustainable settlement to all issues related to Nagorno-Karabakh conflict," she told reporters.
Pelosi also effectively blamed Turkey, Azerbaijan's closest ally, for the fighting that broke out on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border late on September 12 and left more than 200 soldiers from both sides dead.
"I mentioned in the meeting earlier that for a long time, for decades, in the Congress and in the bipartisan way we have tried to hold Turkey as well as Azerbaijan responsible for the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict," she said.
The U.S. State Department also appears to have held Baku responsible for the worst escalation of the conflict since the 2020 war in Karabakh. In a September 13 phone call, Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev to "cease hostilities" and voiced serious concern over "reported strikes against settlements and civilian infrastructure inside Armenia."
Speaking at a joint news conference with Pelosi, Simonian said that the fighting was brought to a halt late on September 14 thanks to U.S. mediation.
Pelosi's delegation also comprised two other Democratic lawmakers: Jackie Speier and Anna Eshoo, who both are of Armenian descent. Like Pelosi, Speier and Eshoo represent California constituencies with sizable Armenian American populations, a fact emphasized by the House speaker.
"So this is a family visit for us," said Pelosi. She noted that she planned the trip "before the assault on the border of Armenia took place."