YEREVAN, Armenia — Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi said on Sunday that the United States deplores the recent attacks by Azerbaijan and called for a negotiated solution to the conflict between the countries.
Pelsoi’s visit to the Armenian capital, Yerevan, with a congressional delegation came just days after two days of shelling from both sides that killed more than 200 soldiers. It was the biggest outbreak of hostilities in more than two years.
The two ex-Soviet countries are locked in a decades-old conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, which is part of Azerbaijan but has long been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since the end of a separatist war in 1994.
In a six-week war in 2020, Azerbaijan reclaimed large swathes of Nagorno-Karabakh and adjacent territories held by Armenian forces. More than 6,700 people died in these fights.
Armenia and Azerbaijan have accused the other of launching the bombings last week.
Pelosi met with Alen Simonyan, Speaker of Armenia’s parliament, on Sunday and told reporters afterwards that “our meeting again had special significance for us as the focus was on security following the unlawful and deadly attacks by Azerbaijan on Armenian territory.
“We strongly condemn these attacks – we in our delegation, on behalf of Congress – which threaten the prospects for a much-needed peace agreement,” she said. “The United States … has long and clearly stated that there can be no military solution to the conflict. We continue to monitor the situation closely and we continue to support a negotiated, comprehensive and lasting solution to all the problems related to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry strongly criticized his comments.
“Pelosi’s baseless and unjust accusations against Azerbaijan are unacceptable,” he said in a statement.
“We regretfully point out that Pelosi, who speaks of justice, deliberately did not show any position until today regarding Armenia’s policy of aggression against Azerbaijan, the occupation of the territory of Azerbaijan for nearly 30 years, the ethnic cleansing of hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis and other similar serious crimes, for which Armenia is responsible,” the ministry said.