Blinken and Aliyev: The Urgent Need for Peace in the Caucasus

Blinken contacts Aliyev to address rising tensions at the border

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan recently discussed the importance of advancing the peace process between their respective countries. A statement released by the State Department highlighted the economic benefits that this peace process would bring to the entire region. Blinken warned against any aggressive actions or rhetoric from either side that could undermine the prospects for peace, stressing that there is no excuse for escalating tension on the border.

President Aliyev refuted accusations made in the West about Azerbaijan’s intention to attack Armenia as groundless, emphasizing the need to speed up negotiations. He also reiterated Azerbaijan’s commitment to declarations adopted in Prague in 2022 and Almaty. During a telephone conversation with Blinken, he raised concerns about a meeting scheduled for April 5 potentially aggravating tensions in the South Caucasus and creating new dividing lines instead of establishing peace.

Blinken assured Aliyev that concerns expressed during a meeting with Armenian leaders in Brussels were not directed against Azerbaijan. However, President Aliyev emphasized the need to avoid actions that could escalate tensions and create new challenges in the region.

The Azerbaijani side also reported that Blinken called for the release of those unjustly arrested during their discussion with President Aliyev.

In conclusion, both parties agreed on the importance of working towards peace and avoiding any actions or rhetoric that could undermine this goal.

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