Sep 19, 2022 - World

Pelosi condemns Azerbaijan's "illegal" attacks during visit to Armenia

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi holds a press conference in Yerevan, Armenia, on Sept. 18. Photo: Karen Minasyan/AFP via Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she delivered a "clear message of America's commitment to Armenia" on Monday following her visit to the country over the weekend.

Why it matters: During the trip, which came days after Azerbaijan launched a large-scale attack on Armenia, Pelosi condemned Azerbaijan's "illegal and deadly" attack on the country's sovereign borders.

  • A delicate ceasefire is in place, with more than 200 soldiers already killed in the flare-up.

The big picture: The attack has raised fears of another war between the two countries over Nagorno-Karabakh, where a large-scale war in 2020 ended with a ceasefire agreement and nearly 5,000 dead on both sides.

What she's saying: "Make no mistake," Pelosi said during remarks at Yerevan's Cafesjian Center for the Arts.

  • "This assault is unacceptable and exclamatory and threatening prospects for the much-needed peace agreement to succeed," added Pelosi, who's the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit Armenia.
  • "We, our delegation, have been very outspoken in saying that this was initiated by the Azeris and that there has to be recognition of that."

Details: Pelosi traveled to the country with a congressional delegation including House Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) and Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), along with caucus member Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.).

  • The delegation met with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, whom Pelosi described as "a valued partner in advancing security, prosperity and democracy in the Caucasus region."
  • Pelosi also visited the Tsitsernakaberd Armenian Genocide Memorial, laying a wreath to honor the 1.5 million Armenians killed in the genocide.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sunday that he spoke with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev to "urge a disengagement of military forces and a return to peace negotiations."

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