WASHINGTON, DC — In a phone call with Ilham Aliyev on Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken called on Azerbaijan to end the three-month blockade of the sole highway connecting Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia.

“Secretary Blinken encouraged finding solutions to outstanding issues and underscored that there is no military solution,” said Vedant Patel, a spokesman for the U.S. State Department. “He reaffirmed the importance of reopening the Lachin corridor to commercial and private vehicles.”

According to an official Azerbaijani readout of the call, Aliyev again claimed that the corridor was not blocked by Azerbaijani government-backed protesters and described reports to the contrary as “false Armenian propaganda.” He said that Russian peacekeepers and the International Committee of the Red Cross have escorted thousands of vehicles through that road over the last three months.

Aliyev again accused Armenia of shipping military personnel and weapons to Karabakh and said that an Azerbaijani checkpoint must be set up at the corridor.

The United States has repeatedly called on Baku to lift the road blockade that has caused serious shortages of food, medicine and other essential items in Karabakh. The U.S. ambassador in Yerevan, Kristina Kvien, made a point of visiting an Armenian border checkpoint leading to the Lachin earlier this month.

“The Lachin corridor should be opened immediately,” Kvien tweeted during the trip.

Blinken phoned Aliyev one day after speaking to Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. He told both leaders that Washington remains committed to helping the two South Caucasus nations reach a “sustainable peace.”

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