Posted on May. 22. 2023
The United States on May 11 urged Armenia and Azerbaijan to seize peace initiatives after the two sides reported fresh gunfire exchanges along their common border.
“We believe that there continues to be a durable path forward. We believe that there is a peaceful solution to this,” State Department spokesman Vedant Patel told reporters.
Washington recently hosted four days of talks between delegations of Azerbaijani and Armenian negotiators. EU-mediated talks between their leaders are scheduled for this weekend.
Both sides blamed each other for the fresh outburst of violence in which Azerbaijan said one of its soldiers was killed.
The Armenian Defense Ministry said Azerbaijani forces began firing on its positions near the border village of Sotk, some 180 kilometers east of the capital, Yerevan, at 6 a.m. local time, and three Armenian soldiers were wounded as a result.
Later on May 11, Azerbaijani forces fired a mortar in the direction of Verin Shorzha in Armenia’s eastern Gegharkunik Province, the Armenian military said. As of shortly after 8 p.m. the situation was relatively stable, it said.
The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said on May 11 that one of its soldiers was killed after Armenian forces “fired intensively at the positions of the Azerbaijani Army from various types of firearms from their positions in the Vardenis border region.”
The ministry said the Azerbaijani Army took “necessary retaliatory measures.”
The latest outburst of violence came after the European Council said on May 10 that Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev had agreed to meet in Brussels on May 14.
The two leaders are expected to hold more talks to work out a peace agreement amid renewed tensions over a road checkpoint installed by Baku at the start of the Lachin Corridor, the only route linking Armenia to the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region.
The talks, which will include European Council President Charles Michel, come after the negotiations in Washington, which ended with Secretary of State Antony Blinken saying significant progress had been made.
Tensions along the restive Armenian-Azerbaijani border and around Nagorno-Karabakh leading to sporadic fighting and loss of life have persisted despite the cease-fire and the presence of Russian troops.
Armenia and Azerbaijan have been locked in a conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh for decades. Some 30,000 people were killed in a war in the early 1990s that left ethnic Armenians in control of the predominantly Armenian-populated region and seven adjacent districts of Azerbaijan proper.
Decades of internationally mediated talks failed to result in a diplomatic solution and the simmering conflict led to another war in 2020 in which nearly 7,000 soldiers were killed on both sides.
The six-week war — in which Azerbaijan regained all the Armenian-controlled areas outside of Nagorno-Karabakh as well as chunks of territory inside the Soviet-era autonomous region — ended with a Russian-brokered cease-fire under which Moscow deployed about 2,000 troops to serve as peacekeepers.
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1991 Azerbaijan opted 1st republic continuation
Karabagh & Nakhichevan were out of its borders.
Armenia accepting 2nd republic continuation,
after 4 years war, occupying back Karabagh.
Under pressure, as Bolshevik continuation,
accepted “Negotiable condition”, reaching
Madrid convention: forcing 44 days war,trying
“legalizing ILLEGAL Moscow i921 treaty
“sacrificing Armenia resolution”, helping to
occupy back by international invasion.
This way as 1st republic continuation, profit
as 2nd republic advantages, by war, WHICH IS
HIGHLY ILLEGAL. NACHICHEVAN SHOULD BE RETURNED UNDER ARMENIAN POSSESSION, LAST JUNE
SIGNED BY TURKEY & RUSSIA, NOW DENIED, WHICH
MEANS ALL TREATY CONVENTIONS SIGNED IS 100%
ILLEGAL CONCERNING NAKHICHEVAN & KARABAGH,
LIABLE HUGE MONETARY FINES AGAINST RUSSIA,
TURKEY AND AZERBAIJAN. RUSSIA AND TURKEY INVADE ARMENIA AFTER PRESIDENT W. WILSON
ARBITRAGED BORDER, 10 DAYS AFTER, MOCKING
S.D.N.(UN), SEVRES TREATY AND INSULTING
U.S.A. GREAT SEAL & 18 UNANIMOUS NATIONS.