Azerbaijan’s continued attacks on civilian targets, which amount to war crimes, as well as the deployment of Ankara-backed jihadists in the fight against Armenians in Artsakh were some of the issues Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan discussed with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo of Friday in Washington.
Mnatsakanyan presented details of Azerbaijan’s deliberate targeting of civilians and their structures, as well as the gruesome treatment of captured Armenian soldiers and Artsakh residents by Azerbaijan, calling them war crimes, reported Armenia’s Foreign Ministry.
Armenia’s foreign minister also emphasized that Azerbaijan’s aggression was taking place with the direct approval, backing and military assistance by Turkey, which is also deploying foreign terrorists to the region to fight alongside Azerbaijani forces.
Mnatsakanyan warned that Azerbaijan is creating a Turkish influence zone backed by terrorists, which are threatening the security and stability of the region.
Azerbaijan’s continued violation of the ceasefire agreement and the incessant attacks on Artsakh civilian and military targets proves Baku’s intention to resolve the Karabakh conflict through military means.
The two top diplomats reiterated the need for the immediate adherence to the provisions of the ceasefire agreement as well as continue working with the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs on the peaceful settlement of the Karabakh conflict.
Earlier Friday, Pompeo met with Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov.
“During separate meetings with Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan and Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jehun Bayramov we discussed critical steps to halt the violence in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Both must implement a ceasefire and return to substantive negotiations,” Pompeo Twitted after the meetings.
During separate meetings with Armenian Foreign Minister @ZMnatsakanyan and Azerbaijani Foreign Minister @bayramov_jeyhun, we discussed critical steps to halt the violence in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Both must implement a ceasefire and return to substantive negotiations.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) October 23, 2020
According to the State Department, Pompeo is called on Mnatsakanyan and Bayramov to “end the violence and protect civilians.”
“The secretary also stressed the importance of the sides entering substantive negotiations under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs to resolve the conflict based on the Helsinki Final Act principles of the non-use or threat of force, territorial integrity, and the equal rights and self-determination of peoples,” said State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus, reported Voice of America.
Mnatsakanyan discussed Azerbaijan’s aggression and Turkey’s interference with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.
During a press briefing on Friday, President Donald Trump said good progress was being made in the negotiations over Nagorno Karabakh conflict.
”We are talking about that, we are working with Armenia. We have very good relationship with Armenia. There are very good people there, very dedicated, they are incredible people and we’ll see what happens,” added Trump.
“I think really good progress is being made with respect to that,” he said. “We have a lot of people living in this country originally from Armenia. They are great people and we’re going to help them.”