Following a telephone conversation with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Monday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken pledged that the United States will continue its support for Armenia-Azerbaijan peace talks.
“I spoke to Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan today to reiterate U.S. commitment to helping Armenia and Azerbaijan reach a sustainable peace,” Blinken said in a Twitter post on Monday. “Diplomacy is the only way to peace in the South Caucasus.”
“Secretary Blinken thanked Prime Minister Pashinyan for Armenia’s continued commitment to peace and encouraged concrete steps forward in finding solutions to outstanding issues,” said State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel said later on Monday.
“He reiterated U.S. support for direct talks and diplomacy to support a lasting and sustainable peace in the South Caucasus and stressed that there is no military solution,” Patel added.
According to the prime minister’s press office, Pashinyan and Blinken discussed issues related to the humanitarian crisis caused by Azerbaijan’s illegal blockade of the Lachin Corridor.
“Nikol Pashinyan and Antony Blinken exchanged thoughts on the prospects of normalization of Armenia-Azerbaijan relations and the opening of transport links channels in the region,” an Armenian government press statement said.
“The US Secretary of State reaffirmed his call for the immediate reopening of the Lachin Corridor and emphasized that the US is ready to continue supporting the aforementioned processes,” added the statement.
During the telephone conversation, Pashinyan voiced his concern regarding the recent increase in Azerbaijan’s aggressive rhetoric against Armenia.
On February 18, Blinken hosted talks between Pashinyan and President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan on the margins of the Munich Security Conference in Germany.
The telephone conversation between the Armenian and U.S. officials took place on the same day that Yerevan asked Russia for support in deploying an international fact-finding mission to the Lachin Corridor and Artsakh.