"Under the president’s direction, we have spent the entire weekend trying to broker peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Armenia has accepted a ceasefire. Azerbaijan has not yet,” O’Brien told CBS.
“We are pushing them [Azerbaijan] to do so,” he said.
U.S. President Donald Trump also commented on the Karabakh war as he spoke at an election campaign rally in New Hampshire. “Armenia, they are incredible people, they are fighting like hell and … we’re going to get something done,” he said.
“We’ll get that sorted out … I call that an easy one,” Trumped added, referring to the fighting. He did not elaborate.
O’Brien and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo separately met with the Armenian and Azerbaijan foreign ministers in Washington on Friday as part of international efforts to stop the month-long war over Karabakh.
“In my meeting with Azerbaijani FM [Jeyhun Bayramov] I pressed for an immediate ceasefire, then a return to Minsk Group-facilitated negotiations with Armenia and rejection of outside actors further destabilizing the situation,” O’Brien said shortly afterwards. “There is no military solution.”
Pompeo said, for his part, that he discussed with Bayramov and Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanian “critical steps to halt violence in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.”
According to the Reuters news agency, Mnatsakanian described his meeting with Pompeo as “very good” as he exited the U.S. State Department. He said work on a ceasefire will continue.
Russia and France already brokered Armenian-Azerbaijani ceasefire agreements on October 10 and October 17 respectively. The agreements did not stop hostilities in and around Karabakh, with the warring sides accusing each other of not respecting it.
Armenia says that the efforts to halt the hostilities are also obstructed by Turkey, a claim denied by Ankara and Baku. Pompeo criticized the Turkish role in the Karabakh conflict last week.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said, meanwhile, that the mediating powers should put pressure on Armenia if they want to stop the war.
“We have one condition: if the countries that have supported Armenia and created for almost 30 years conditions for its occupation of our lands want a ceasefire they must put pressure on Armenia,” Aliyev said, according to TASS. “The Armenian prime minister must state that his country will leave the occupied territories. We haven’t heard such a statement.”