Blinken and Aliyev Discuss Benefits of Peace between Azerbaijan and Armenia Amid Tensions

Blinken contacts Aliyev to address rising tensions at the border

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev recently held a conversation about the importance of advancing the peace process between Azerbaijan and Armenia. The State Department released a statement that emphasized that this peace process will bring economic benefits to the entire region. Blinken warned that any aggressive actions or rhetoric from either side could undermine the prospects for peace and stressed that there is no excuse for tension escalation on the border.

President Ilham Aliyev denied accusations made in the West about Azerbaijan’s intention to attack Armenia, calling them groundless. He highlighted discussions held by foreign ministers in Berlin regarding a peace agreement text as beneficial and emphasized the need to speed up negotiations. Aliyev reiterated Azerbaijan’s commitment to declarations adopted in Prague in 2022 and Almaty.

During their telephone call, Blinken also urged for the release of those unjustly arrested. President Aliyev raised concerns about a scheduled meeting on April 5 potentially aggravating tensions in the South Caucasus and creating new dividing lines instead of establishing peace. He expressed frustration with Baku’s refusal to postpone the meeting despite its valid concerns.

The Azerbaijani side reported that Blinken reassured Aliyev that concerns raised during a meeting with Armenian Prime Minister and other leaders in Brussels were not directed against Azerbaijan. However, Aliyev emphasized the need to avoid actions that could escalate tensions and create new challenges in the region.

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