Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Armenia on Saturday that the United States had “deep concern” and sought protection for ethnic Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh as Azerbaijan solidified control of the territory.
In a telephone call with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Mr Blinken “expressed the United States’ deep concern for the ethnic Armenian population in Nagorno-Karabakh,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said.
“He underscored the United States is calling on Azerbaijan to protect civilians and uphold its obligations to respect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of the residents of Nagorno-Karabakh and to ensure its forces comply with international humanitarian law,” Mr Miller said.
Mr Blinken held three rounds of peace talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan to reduce tensions on Nagorno-Karabakh, which is dominated by ethnic Armenians who formed a breakaway self-styled state in the 1990s.
Azerbaijan on Tuesday sent in troops and swiftly reconquered the mountainous territory. Christian Armenia has accused mostly Muslim Azerbaijan of planning ethnic cleansing, but Azerbaijan assured the United Nations on Saturday that it would protect ethnic Armenians.
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