Trump on Nagorno-Karabakh fighting: ‘We’ll see if we can stop it’

28 September 2020
Still of White House Press Conference.

After a long silence on the issue, US officials, including the President, have commented on the clashes in Nagorno-Karabakh. The State Department also issued a statement condemning the violence and calling for an immediate ceasefire and a return to negotiations.

Today marks the second day of fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces. The clashes started on Sunday morning as the Azerbaijani military launched a ‘blitz counter-offensive’ along the line of contact.

[Read our live coverage of the clashes:  Live updates: fighting continues overnight in Nagorno-Karabakh]

The US State Department also called for external parties not to participate in the conflict. ‘The United States believes participation in the escalating violence by external parties would be deeply unhelpful and only exacerbate regional tensions.’

Armenia has accused Turkey of being a direct party to the conflict. While these claims remain unconfirmed, unlike other countries in the region, including Russia and Iran, which have called for an end to the fighting, Turkey has expressed ‘full support’ for Azerbaijan. 

During a press briefing on Sunday, President Donald Trump said he was ‘looking’ at the situation ‘very strongly’. 

‘We have a lot of good relationships in that area and we’ll see if we can stop it’, he said. 

Meanwhile, Presidential nominee and former vice president Joe Biden released an official statement calling for ‘urgent de-escalation, restoring the ceasefire, and a resumption of negotiations’.

Biden criticised the Trump administration’s inaction, stating that they ‘should be pushing for more observers along the ceasefire line and calling for Russia to stop cynically providing arms to both sides’

‘The Trump administration also needs to step up its diplomatic efforts, together with fellow OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs France and Russia, to seek a peaceful resolution and to support confidence-building measures.’

Frank Pallone, a member of the US House of Representatives who co-chairs the House Armenia Caucus, blamed Azerbaijan and Turkey for the violence.

‘I condemn the belligerent display of Azeri and Turkish aggression in Artsakh [Nagorno-Karabakh]. I strongly encourage the Department of State to help deescalate this dangerous situation and hold the aggressors — Azerbaijan and Turkey — accountable for their destabilising actions.’

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