Blinken warned lawmakers last week that Azerbaijan may invade Armenia in coming weeks, as per Politico.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has raised alarms over the potential for Azerbaijan to invade Armenia, underscoring the administration’s unease regarding Azerbaijan’s actions in the South-Caucasus region and the risk of a broader conflict.
In October 3 phone call, in response to lawmakers’ questions about measures against Aliyev, Blinken revealed that the State Department is actively exploring ways to hold Azerbaijan accountable. Notably, they do not plan to renew the long-standing waiver that permits U.S. military assistance to Baku.
The decision not to renew this waiver is significant, as it had been issued annually since 2002, enabling the U.S. to provide military support to Azerbaijan despite its conflicts with Armenia.
Two additional people confirmed that a briefing happened on the situation in Azerbaijan, but did not provide details.
“The Voice of America” sent a query to the U.S. State Department regarding Politico’s article on Azerbaijan’s invasion into Armenia.
In response, the State Department declined to comment on the call, but said “the United States continues to collaborate with the leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia at the highest levels, seeking dignified and lasting peace, where the rights of everyone are respected. respects the rights of all,” was said in the statement.The use of force is unacceptable, and direct dialogue is of utmost importance for the resolution of this long lasting conflict.”
Since the briefing, congressman Frank Pallone expressed concerns about a possible Azerbaijani invasion into Southern Armenia, suggesting that Aliyev’s regime felt emboldened due to facing minimal consequences for its actions in Artsakh.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has escalated tensions by threatening to resolve disputes with Armenia through the use of force. His primary demand is the creation of a “corridor” along Azerbaijan’s southern border, connecting the mainland to Nakhijevan, an Armenian territory occupied by Azerbaijan, bordering Turkey and Iran.
Aliyev has said “we will be implementing the Zangezur Corridor, whether Armenia wants it or not.”
Besides the above-mentioned, during the phone call of October 7, Aliyev told Michel that those eight villages “still are being occupied by Armenia” and emphasised the importance of their “liberation.” He has not specified which villages he is referencing.
In an interview with Brussels Signal, Mr Balayan, the Armenian ambassador-designate to the EU, said that Armenia is under imminent threat of invasion by Azerbaijan within weeks, noting that there would be no stopping Azerbaijan if it “will not be confronted with very practical steps, concrete repercussions, taken by the so-called collective West”.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has expressed concerns that Azerbaijan’s actions are perceived as territorial claims and a demand for an extraterritorial corridor. Tensions have a history, including a 2022 assault by Azerbaijan on the Armenian border and a recent incident where three Armenian servicemen were killed.
However, Hikmet Hajiyev, senior foreign policy adviser to Azerbaijani President Aliyev, denied any territorial claims on Armenia. He stated that the “risk of conflict is low ”, given recent “improved relations” between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the aftermath of the aggression against Artsakh.
Azerbaijan’s recent military actions in Artsakh resulted in the forced displacement of over 100,000 ethnic Armenians. Under Azerbaijan’s use or force, Artsakh leaders had to prepare a document about the dissolution of the Republic of Artsakh. Azerbaijani forces detained former leaders of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh).