U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Karen Donfried

WASHINGTON, DC — The United States has expressed concern about Azerbaijan’s weekend military movements that further tightened its blockade of Nagorno-Karabakh’s land link with Armenia, Vedant Patel, Principal Deputy Spokesperson for the Department of State, said at a daily briefing.

“Assistant Secretary Karen Donfried spoke with Foreign Minister Bayramov and expressed concern over Azerbaijani military movements. She emphasized the US’s commitment to Armenia-Azerbaijan peace negotiations,” the Spokesperson said.

“As the Secretary has also spoken about this quite repeatedly, direct dialogue is key to resolving this issue and reaching a lasting peace. There is not a military solution to this conflict. We’ll continue to facilitate discussions between Armenia and Azerbaijan bilaterally as well as with partners, and as well as throughout multilateral organizations as well,” he added.

Azerbaijani troops seized on Saturday a hill overlooking a dirt road that bypasses a section of the Lachin corridor blocked by Baku for more than three months.

The United States has repeatedly called on the Azerbaijani side to lift the blockade that has caused a serious humanitarian crisis in Karabakh. The U.S. ambassador to Armenia, Kristina Kvien, made a point of visiting an Armenian border checkpoint leading to the Lachin corridor earlier this month. Another senior U.S. diplomat made clear, however, that Washington is not considering imposing sanctions on Baku because of the blockade.

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