Brief: The US Eyes a Settlement Over Nagorno-Karabakh

Washington is reportedly stepping up to help broker an end to the fighting.

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Background: Russia and Turkey support opposing sides in the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, a predominantly Armenian enclave inside Azerbaijan where fighting flared last month. Moscow backs Armenia (on paper, at least), while Ankara backs Azerbaijan, but the two powers appear unable or unwilling to end the fighting, despite the most recent Russian-brokered cease-fire that began on Saturday. Washington has so far stayed out of the conflict. What Happened: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo plans to meet separately with Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov and Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan in Washington on Friday, according to Politico, which based its reporting on U.S. government documents it says it obtained. In separate interviews on Monday with Russian news agency Tass, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said they were ready for talks to end the fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh. However, Azerbaijan continues its operations in the disputed region, recently making new territorial gains near the southern city of Zangelan. Bottom Line: Both sides seem primed to end the fighting: That Azerbaijan’s advances are limited to the southern part of the enclave indicates the country is interested in a settlement, and the lack of Russian support has forced Armenia to […]

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