Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday spoke to President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan and urged him to immediately open the Lachin Corridor.
It has been six weeks that Azerbaijan has been blockading Artsakh by allowing so-called environmental activists to close the Lachin Corridor, the only road connecting Armenia to Artsakh and creating a disastrous humanitarian crisis impacting the 120,000 residents of Artsakh.
“Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke today with Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev to urge an immediate reopening of the Lachin corridor to commercial traffic,” said State Department spokesperson Ned Price in a statement.
“He underscored that the risk of a humanitarian crisis in the Lachin corridor undermined prospects for peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The Secretary encouraged President Aliyev to redouble efforts in bilateral peace discussions with Armenia. He also raised human rights concerns in Azerbaijan,” addd Price.
Blinken held a telephone conversation with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan last week and expressed deep concern about the ongoing blockade of the Lachin Corridor.
“The Prime Minister noted that by blocking the Lachin Corridor, Azerbaijan once again resorted to a provocative action and actually violated the obligation assumed by the trilateral declaration of November 9, 2020,” Pashinyan’s office said in a statement following the phone call.
Following Blinken’s phone call with Pashinyan last week, Price said that the Armenia-Azerbaijan process was a “personal priority” for the U.S. Secretary of State
“There are a number of individuals in this department who are deeply invested in this process, not the least of whom is Secretary Blinken himself. This is a personal priority of his,” Price told reporters last week.