Forces of Armenia and Azerbaijan clashed on Friday in numerous parts of Nagorno-Karabakh, following the augmentation of diplomatic efforts to attempt to conclude the fatal conflict for more than 25 years.
Mike Pompeo, the US Secretary of state, met with the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia individually to try to put an end to the bloodshed that is said to have taken the lives of about 5000 people, as per Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia.
U.S. President Donald Trump stated that “good progress” was underway on the matter but did not explain further and denied to say that if he had communicated with the leaders of any of the two countries. “We’re working with Armenia. We have a very good relationship with Armenia … We’ll see what happens,” he informed.
Some demonstrators chanted in front of the State Department on Friday with flags and banners of the areas in their hands. Pompeo had meetings with both the ministers which lasted for around 30 to 40 minutes.
Addressing a virtual event organised by the Atlantic Council think tank, Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan said that he had “very productive” meetings with the US Secretary of State.
“We have been assessing the way in which we can immediately, without delay, achieve the establishment of a ceasefire and go back to the peaceful resolution. I think what we’ve been hearing from the United States was very encouraging,” he stated.
Conflicts among Armenia and Azerbaijan
In the recent conflicts, Azerbaijan’s defence ministry conveyed of fighting in regions comprising of lands in the vicinity of the line of contact that separates the sides.
Conflicts in many areas as well as bombing of the town of Martuni in Nagorno-Karabakh was reported by the Defence ministry of Armenia, which was refuted by Azerbaijan. The latter has stated apprehension regarding the safety of pipelines in the fighting region which are used to carry Azeri oil and gas, but they have not been harmed as of now.
Even though Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan stated that he didn’t see any diplomatic resolution of the skirmish, Pompeo asserted this week that he expected to find the correct course of action via talks and discussions. President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev has referred to the scenarios of a peace settlement as “very remote”.
Approximately 30,000 people died in a 1991-94 war over the region of Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenians refer to the territory as a segment of their historic native land; Azeris deem it unlawfully subjugated land that must be given back to them.
Azeri forces claim that they have made territorial improvements, along with full control over the boundary with Iran, which Armenia refutes.