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U.S. ‘Working’ To Stop Karabakh Fighting


NAGORNO-KARABAKH -- The remains of a rocket shell are seen after recent shelling in the town of Martuni, October 14, 2020

The United States has told Turkey and other regional powers to “stay out” of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict as part of its efforts to stop fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday.

“We’ve joined our European partners and, frankly, many countries around the world to ask that there be a ceasefire, the beginning of a solution to the conflict,” Pompeo told reporters.

“We’ve watched the reporting of civilian deaths,” he said. “We’ve watched Turkey begin to reinforce Azerbaijan. We’ve asked every international player to stay out of the region, not to continue to reinforce trouble and we’re working to deliver that. And we’re using our diplomatic toolkit to try and achieve an outcome that gets a … ceasefire and an outcome that is a solution based on international law.”

“We’ve done some work that I think increases the likelihood that the objectives that I’ve just identified for you actually take place,” added Pompeo.

Pompeo already said last week that “outsiders ought to stay out” of the Karabakh conflict. He did not explicitly point the finger at Turkey which strongly supports Azerbaijan’s military action.

The United States, Russia and France have long been leading international efforts to end the Karabakh conflict through the Minsk Group of the Organization for Security Organization in Europe. In the last two weeks they have repeatedly issued statements calling for an immediate halt to the war that broke out on September 27.

Moscow brokered an Armenian-Azerbaijani ceasefire agreement on October 10. Hostilities in the conflict zone have continued since then, however.

Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, President Donald Trump’s Democratic rival in the November 3 presidential election, on Tuesday expressed deep concern over the “collapse” of the ceasefire and accused the Trump administration of being “largely passive and disengaged.”

“Rather than delegating the diplomacy to Moscow, the administration must get more involved, at the highest levels,” Biden said in a statement.

Pompeo said that he briefly discussed the Karabakh escalation with Trump earlier on Wednesday. He said that Washington is “paying a great deal of attention” to the conflict.

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