Pelosi slams Azerbaijan’s ‘illegal’ attacks during Armenia visit

20 September 2022
 Pelosi slams Azerbaijan’s ‘illegal’ attacks during Armenia visit

Farid Shafiyev of the Center of Analysis of International Relations told Al Jazeera from the Azeri capital Baku that the reason for Pelosi’s visit was to secure American-Armenian votes to be reelected in the coming midterm elections.

“Her constituency in California is heavily influenced by Armenian votes,” he said, calling Pelosi’s trip a purely political ploy.

In the midterm elections in November, all 435 seats in the US House of Representatives and 35 of the 100 seats in the Senate will be contested.

Trading blame
An outburst of fighting between Azerbaijan and Armenia this week killed dozens of soldiers from both sides.

A ceasefire took effect on Wednesday after two days of heavy fighting that marked the largest outbreak of hostilities in nearly two years.

Over the course of the fighting, the US State Department has called for both sides to refrain from “military hostilities” and adhere to a ceasefire, stressing “there can be no military solution to this dispute”.

Armenia and Azerbaijan traded blame for the shelling, with Armenian authorities accusing Baku of unprovoked aggression and Azeri officials saying their country was responding to Armenian attacks.

The two former Soviet countries have been locked in a decades-old conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, which is an ethnically Armenian enclave within Azerbaijan that has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since a separatist war there ended in 1994.

During a six-week war in 2020, Azerbaijan reclaimed broad swaths of Nagorno-Karabakh and adjacent territories held by Armenian forces.

More than 6,700 people died in the fighting, which ended with a Russia-brokered peace agreement. Moscow deployed about 2,000 troops to the region to serve as peacekeepers.