As we have previously reported here in SOFREP, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been visiting various nations this year. She visited Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky in May and Taiwan last month. And now, Pelosi is on another trip visiting embattled Armenia.
Pelosi arrived in Armenia as she led a congressional delegation to show support to Armenia after the fighting that started two weeks ago that resulted in 200 deaths (just last week). Pelosi met with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan in Yerevan together with other local officials. The meeting reportedly represented “the strong and ongoing support of the United States” for Armenia as the country faces a conflict over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh territory.
Pelosi joined local officials during a conference where she outrightly called out Azerbaijan in their attacks. She said this war was “initiated by the Azeries and there has to be recognition of that.” However, the Baku had a strong rebuttal to Pelosi’s statements saying these are biased and unfair accusations.
Today, I delivered remarks in Yerevan at the Cafesjian Center for the Arts to make it clear that America stands with Armenia. In the ongoing battle against autocracy around the world, we will always support democracy and freedom. pic.twitter.com/gMeSnBi44J
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) September 18, 2022
In a press release from Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, they noted that the American congresswoman’s remarks were “groundless and unfair.”
“The incident that took place on the deemed border, which is not delimited yet on the night of September 12-13, 2022 was a large-scale military provocation by Armenia against Azerbaijan, and this provocation was prevented by the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan, and the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our country was ensured. Currently, the ceasefire regime is observed and the escalation of the situation has been prevented. All responsibility for the escalation of the situation in the region and the large-scale provocation lies with the military-political leadership of Armenia.”
The statement also called out Pelosi as a “pro-American politician” who appeared in the “presence of pro-Armenian members of Congress in her delegation to Armenia.” Azerbaijan is claiming Pelosi’s beefing up her press stunt to look good for the upcoming US elections by intervening in their conflict with Armenia.
“We regretfully emphasize that N. Pelosi, who speaks about justice, has not demonstrate any position regarding the policy of aggression by Armenia against Azerbaijan, occupation of Azerbaijan’s territory for almost 30 years, the ethnic cleansing of hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis and other such serious crimes for which Armenia is responsible.”
To date, the ongoing clashes are the biggest escalation since the Russian-brokered peace deal in 2020. At the time, Russia was backing Armenia (the same way Pelosi was representing the US in this intervention). Moreover, with the weakening Russian forces in the Ukraine-Russo war, analysts are speculating that Azerbaijan saw this as an opportunity to attack. Reuters also reported how Armenia reached out to Russia during the beginning of the conflict. Though Putin stated they had the capacity to broker and keep the peace deal, the war still went on.
I was proud to join @SpeakerPelosi and my colleagues in representing the United States Congress in Armenia this weekend at a critical moment in the Republic’s history. This was the most valuable trip I have ever made to Armenia. pic.twitter.com/dpZVrJ4qqm
— Rep. Frank Pallone (@FrankPallone) September 19, 2022
Russia also sent its Collective Security Treaty Organization, an alliance of former Soviet republics that include Armenia, to conduct a monitoring mission. However, even with Russia’s response, Armenia feels Putin lacks dedication and, most importantly, action. This could be the reason why Armenia is now open to improving ties with the US.
“Armenian Parliamentary Speaker Simonyan said he was dissatisfied with the response, likening the CSTO to a pistol that did not shoot bullets,” the report notes.
U.S. Congressional Delegation led by Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi arrived in Yerevan for her first visit to Armenia. Welcome Madam Speaker! pic.twitter.com/LeOQYKnpgh
— US Embassy, Armenia (@usembarmenia) September 17, 2022
As for Pelosi, she said the US is open to exploring ways on how Washington can support their defense needs.
“We should be using our influence, our leverage showing that Armenian democracy and sovereignty is a priority,” Pelosi said. “The velvet revolution was cheered globally.”