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U.S. Insists On ‘De-Escalation’ In Karabakh


U.S. - U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a news conference at the State Department, in Washington, October 14, 2020.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday that he will reiterate U.S. calls for a ceasefire in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone when he separately meets with the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan in Washington on Friday.

“Our view remains -- as does the view of nearly every European country -- that the right path forward is to cease the conflict, tell them to de-escalate, that every country should stay out, provide no fuel for this conflict, no weapon systems, no support,” Pompeo told reporters.

“And it is at that point that a diplomatic solution that would be acceptable to all can potentially be achieved,” he said. “That’s what I will talk to them about on Friday. And I’m anxious to hear from them what they are seeing on the ground and how we might get closer to what it is that we think is not only in the U.S. best interests but in each of their countries’ interests as well.”

Pompeo would not say whether he will try to broker a ceasefire agreement during his talks with Foreign Ministers Zohrab Mnatsakanian of Armenia and Jeyhun Bayramov of Azerbaijan. He noted only that such agreements brokered by Russia and France earlier this month did not stop the hostilities in and around Karabakh.

It also remained unclear whether Mnatsakanian and Bayramov could also with each other or hold a trilateral meeting with Pompeo in Washington.

The United States, Russia and France have long been leading international efforts to end the Karabakh conflict in their capacity as co-chairs of the Minsk Group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. They have repeatedly issued joint statements calling for an immediate halt to the war that broke out on September 27.

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