US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke to the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan on Friday to call for dialogue over the conflict in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Blinken, who is on a trip to Asia, spoke by telephone to Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev, State Department spokesman Ned Price said.
“Secretary Blinken assured Prime Minister Pashinyan that the United States is watching the situation in and around Nagorno-Karabakh closely,” Price said.
In his conversations with the two leaders, Blinken “urged direct dialogue between Armenia and Azerbaijan to resolve issues related to, or resulting from, the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” he said.
The former Soviet republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan have fought two wars -- in the 1990s and in 2020 -- over Nagorno-Karabakh.
In the aftermath of the latest war, Armenia ceded swathes of territory it had controlled for decades, and Russia deployed some 2,000 peacekeepers to oversee a fragile truce.
Renewed fighting this week has left three people dead, with both sides accusing the other of violating the ceasefire.
On Wednesday, Baku said it had lost a soldier and the Karabakh army said two of its troops had been killed.
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