US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi holds a press conference in parliament in Yerevan on September 18, 2022. – US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, condemned on September 18, 2022, Azerbaijan’s attack on Armenia, days after border clashes between the archenemies of the Caucasus claimed the lives of more than 200 people. (Photo by Karen MINASYAN/AFP) (Photo by KAREN MINASYAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Karen Minasyan | Afp | Getty Images
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made remarks in Armenia on Sunday to show support for the nation in the wake of deadly clashes with neighboring Azerbaijan.
In a press conference, Pelosi strongly condemned “illegal and deadly attacks by Azerbaijan” and added that the violence “threatens the prospects for a much-needed peace deal”. She said the US is closely monitoring the situation and continues to support a negotiated settlement.
Fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan broke out this week as part of a decades-long standoff over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. The clash marks the biggest escalation in the conflict since 2020, when the two nations waged a war over the area that left thousands dead. Each country blames the other for the renewed conflict and a ceasefire went into effect on Wednesday.
Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs called Pelosi’s statement “deeply regrettable” and “unfair”, writing in a press release on Sunday that it is “a serious blow to efforts to normalize relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan”.
Pelosi’s office announced it would lead a congressional delegation to Armenia on Saturday in an effort to highlight the US commitment to Armenia’s security, democratic governance and economic prosperity. Pelosi is said to be the most senior U.S. official to visit Armenia since it gained independence in 1991.
Last year, President Joe Biden officially recognized the murder of 1.5 million Armenians by troops of the Ottoman Empire in the early 20th century as genocide. Biden’s historic statement is a major break with previous US administrations, which have avoided calling the atrocities genocide over concerns about alienating Turkey.
During her visit, Pelosi laid a wreath at the Armenian Genocide Memorial Tsitsernakaberd, write on Twitter“Congress is committed to always upholding our collective responsibility to uphold the memory of the dead, confirm the history of this tragedy and ensure that such an abomination can never happen again.”