Pelosi condemned Azerbaijan’s attack on Armenia, according to Reuters

© Reuters FILE PHOTO: U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi addresses a news conference after a speech at the Bundestag, Germany’s lower house of parliament, in Berlin, Germany, September 16, 2022. REUTERS/Christian Mang/File Photo

TBILISI (Reuters) – U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday strongly condemned Azerbaijan’s “illegal” border attack on Armenia, visiting a Russian ally and pledging U.S. support for its sovereignty.

Pelosi has traveled to Armenia, a tiny enclave about the size of the US state of Maryland between Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey and Iran, in an attempt to shore up support for the democracy beacon.

Speaking in the ancient city of Revan, Pelosi said her visit was significant in the wake of “Azerbaijan’s illegal and deadly aggression against Armenian territory” that led to border clashes and killed more than 200 people.

“We strongly condemn these attacks,” Pelosi said alongside Armenian Parliament Speaker Alain Simonyan, who last week expressed dismay at the Russian-led military alliance’s response to Revan’s request for aid.

Pelosi, who angered China by traveling to Taiwan last month, said it was clear that the border dispute was sparked by an attack on Armenia by Azerbaijan and that the chronology of the conflict should be clearly defined.

Pelosi said the conflict was “started by Native Americans and should be recognized for that.”

Pelosi’s comments drew an unusually strong rebuke from Baku, which it said threatened peace in the Caucasus.

“Pelosi’s unsubstantiated and unfair allegations against Azerbaijan are unacceptable,” the State Department said in a statement.

“This is a serious blow to efforts to normalize relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan,” the ministry said, calling Pelosi’s comments “Armenian propaganda.”

A clear division of responsibility for the conflict is more than the US State Department has so far said publicly. Foreign Secretary Anthony Blinken expressed his concern over the conflict and called for calm, but did not take the blame.

After midnight on September 13, Armenia fired on at least 6 Armenian settlements along the border with Azerbaijan, attacking civilian and military infrastructure with drones and heavy artillery. Yerevan said it was an unprovoked attack.

Turkey-backed Azerbaijan has denied those claims. Baku said that Armenian sabotage units tried to dig into Azeri positions, prompting soldiers to respond. Armenia says the narrative is misinformation from Azerbaijan.

Russian garden

Russia, which has repeatedly condemned Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, claims the Caucasus as its own sphere of influence and will be critical of what follows when America intervenes in the region.

Moscow is preoccupied with the Ukraine conflict, which has sparked the biggest conflict with the West since the height of the Cold War.

Russia is Armenia’s main military ally, with a military base in northern Armenia and a line of communication for peacekeeping forces in Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenia and Azerbaijan went to war in 2020.

President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that Russia has enough resources to mediate in the conflict. The last war ended after a Russian-brokered ceasefire was reached.

But after calls for help, the CSTO, a Russian-led military alliance of former Soviet republics that includes Armenia but excludes Azerbaijan, decided on Tuesday to send a monitoring mission.

Speaker of the Armenian Parliament, Simonyan, expressed his displeasure with the response and compared the CSSO to an unfired gun.

US Representative Frank Pallone said on Pelosi’s side that the United States wants to do everything it can to further support Armenia’s security.

The United States, Pelosi, said that Armenia is listening to what its defense needs are, and Washington wants to help and support Armenia in the international struggle between democracy and autonomy.

“We must use our influence, our ability to show that Armenia’s democracy and sovereignty are a priority,” Pelosi said. “The Velvet Revolution is enjoyed worldwide.”

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan They came to power in 2018 following anti-government protests known as Armenia’s Velvet Revolution.

Pelosi said it was interesting that Armenia was disappointed by Russia’s response.

“It’s amazing that fact finders are disappointed and we’ll see what happens next,” she said.

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