Nancy Pelosi heads delegation to Armenia after violence with Azerbaijan

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., landed with a congressional delegation in Armenia in the wake of violence on the Azerbaijan border.

“The visit of our congressional delegation to Armenia is a powerful symbol of the United States’ firm commitment to a peaceful, prosperous and democratic Armenia and a stable and secure Caucasus region,” Pelosi said in a statement Saturday.

“During working meetings with government leaders, members of civil society and members of the security apparatus, we will convey the strong and continued support of the United States, as OSCE Minsk Chairmanship and long-time friend of Armenia, for a lasting settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” she added.

Fighting erupted between Armenia and Azerbaijan on Tuesday as both sides accused each other of provocation. Russian President Vladimir Putin attempted to negotiate a quick ceasefire, with some reports later suggesting the deal had fallen through.

The Armenian Defense Ministry reported that at least 49 soldiers were killed in night shelling, while Azerbaijan claimed 50 of its soldiers died. Armenian officials said fighting had eased in some areas, but Azerbaijani forces continued trying to push into the country’s eastern territory.

Civilian infrastructure was damaged in the attacks, but civilian casualties in Armenia are unknown.

Armenian National Assembly Speaker Alen Simonyan, right, greets US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi upon their arrival at the international airport outside of Yerevan, Armenia.
Armenian National Assembly Chairman Alen Simonyan, right, greets Nancy Pelosi upon her arrival at the international airport outside of Yerevan, Armenia.
Armenian National Assembly via Photolure photo agency via AP

The US Embassy in Armenia said Pelosi will speak to a number of officials during her visit, including Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, National Assembly Speaker Alen Simonyan and other senior Armenian officials.

“The US Embassy in Armenia looks forward to welcoming a delegation from the US Congress led by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Yerevan later today,” the embassy said in a statement, adding, Pelosi will “discuss US-Armenia relations and the current security situation.”

Tuesday’s conflict stems from decades of aggression over a contested mountainous area in the South Caucasus known as Nagorno-Karabakh, which is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan but has been under the control of Armenian-backed forces since 1994.

Pelosi touted US support for Armenia, saying members of the congressional delegation were “proud and long-standing supporters” of Armenia.

“Congressmen Anna Eshoo and Jackie Speier are personally committed to this struggle as proud Armenian Americans and as Californians, home to the largest Armenian population in the Americas,” Pelosi said. “Chairman Frank Pallone of New Jersey is the longtime co-chairman of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues.”

“Our delegation looks forward to productive meetings that will further strengthen our partnership with the Republic of Armenia and advance our values ​​and interests in the region,” concluded Pelosi.

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi disembarks the plane upon arrival in Yerevan, Armenia.
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi disembarks the plane upon arrival in Yerevan, Armenia.
National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia/Handout via REUTERS

President Biden made history shortly after taking office when he officially recognized the Armenian Genocide, a measure that Armenians in the US have fought for decades to achieve.

Previous White House administrations avoided direct recognition so as not to damage ties with Turkey, which remains a key NATO ally.

Fox News’ Caitlin McFall and Adam Shaw contributed to this report.

https://nypost.com/2022/09/17/nancy-pelosi-leads-delegation-to-armenia-following-violence-with-azerbaijan/ Nancy Pelosi heads delegation to Armenia after violence with Azerbaijan

JACLYN DIAZ

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