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Azeri foreign ministry cancels meeting with Armenia in Washington, accusing US of bias

His Foreign Ministry Azerbaijan announced today that he will not participate in a meeting with the Armenian foreign ministerwhich was to take place on November 20 in Washington, due to the “unilateral approach of the United States”.

High-ranking US officials are unwelcome in Baku for the same reason, he said. In the meantime, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan stated that he intends to intensify political and diplomatic efforts to sign a peace agreement with Azerbaijan, as TASS news agency reported today.

The two countries of the Caucasus have been in conflict for decades, mainly for his area Nagorno Karabakhwhich is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan but whose inhabitants were mainly Armenians who ruled there with the support of Yerevan until it was recaptured by Baku in September.

Azerbaijan particularly objected to the “one-sided and biased” comments made yesterday, Wednesday, by US Deputy Secretary of State James O’Brien to the House Foreign Affairs Committee. He argued that when O’Brien said that Azerbaijan’s use of force in September led to exit of more than 100,000 Armenians from the enclavedid not mention the “illegal parking of over 10,000 members of the Armenian armed forces”, as reported by APE-MPE.

He complained that O’Brien did not mention that “for more than two months Armenia has not responded” to Azerbaijan’s peace proposals. The Azeri statement also said Washington continues to offer support to Armenia, although Armenia is “an aggressor and a source of destabilization in the region.”

According to a transcript posted by the committee, O’Brien said it “cannot be ‘business as usual'” in Washington’s relations with Baku. He said the US had canceled high-level bilateral meetings and engagements with Azerbaijan and would continue to invite it “to facilitate the return of Nagorno-Karabakh Armenians who may want to return to their homes or visit cultural sites in the area, as well as restore unimpeded commercial and humanitarian traffic as well as pedestrian traffic in the area.”

Azerbaijani Prime Minister Ali Asadov told a forum in Tbilisi last month that Baku is committed to peace and restoring transport links with Armenia from 2020, but progress depends on Armenia.

Source: News Beast

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