Top US diplomat speaks with Armenian, Azeri leaders amid ongoing hostilities

Antony Blinken says US 'would push for an immediate halt to fighting and a peace settlement between Armenia and Azerbaijan'.

Top US diplomat speaks with Armenian, Azeri leaders amid ongoing hostilities

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke Tuesday with the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan to appeal for an immediate end to hostilities.

In his telephone call with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Blinken expressed "deep concern over military action along the Armenia-Azerbaijan border, including shelling in Armenia," State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.

"Secretary Blinken urged President Aliyev to cease hostilities and stressed that the United States would push for an immediate halt to fighting and a peace settlement between Armenia and Azerbaijan," he said.

The agency issued a similar readout of Blinken's call with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, which noted that the top diplomat "assured" Pahyinyan "that the United States would push for an immediate halt to fighting."

Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry said Monday that Armenian army saboteurs laid mines on land and roads between positions of the Azerbaijani army.

There were casualties among military personnel from both sides, it added.

Relations between the former Soviet republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Upper Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan.

Hüseyin Demir

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