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Nancy Pelosi meet Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan in Yerevan, armenian news

In the middle of a conflict with Azerbaijan, Nancy Pelosi goes to Armenia.

The House speaker, who has been in the middle of international conflicts before, is the most important American official to visit Armenia since it became independent 30 years ago.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi went to Armenia on Saturday to show support for the small country in the south Caucasus after fighting with neighboring Azerbaijan killed more than 200 people this week. She was there with a group of congresspeople.

Ms. Pelosi said she would meet with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and other officials in the capital, Yerevan, to show Armenia "the strong and ongoing support of the United States" and to work toward a lasting solution to the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.

People thought that Ms. Pelosi's trip was a political move before the midterm elections in November. Her office said in a statement that she is the most important American official to visit Armenia since the end of the Soviet Union 30 years ago. Representatives Jackie Speier and Anna G. Eshoo, both of whom are Armenian Americans from California, where there is a large Armenian population, went with her.

The visit is Ms. Pelosi's latest attempt to show off the diplomatic power of the legislative branch. It comes as war breaks out in Europe and shows how the balance of power is changing around the former Soviet empire, where the U.S. has been trying to gain influence for a long time. The recent fighting, which reached Armenia, is the worst since a full-scale war there killed thousands of people in 2020. It has made Armenia look especially vulnerable.

peaker Nancy Pelosi was greeted by Alen Simonyan
In a picture released by the Armenian government, Speaker Nancy Pelosi was greeted by Alen Simonyan, the president of the National Assembly, on Saturday outside Yerevan, which is the capital of Armenia.

Russia has long been Armenia's protector, but an unexpectedly hard war in Ukraine has hurt Russia, and Azerbaijan has been pushing Mr. Pashinyan hard to agree to a peace deal that would recognize Azerbaijani control over the disputed territory.

After getting its independence, Azerbaijan found oil and gas reserves and turned them into money. It also built a strong army. It has been careful to keep strong ties with Moscow while making Turkey, which is a NATO member and has always been hostile to Armenia, an ally in the region. There are no official diplomatic ties between Turkey and Armenia.

Mr. Pashinyan has said that he wants to make a peace deal with Azerbaijan, but he is facing a lot of pressure at home from people who say that such a deal would be treasonous.

On Tuesday, fighting broke out, and both sides fired artillery and mortars at each other across the border they share. Armenia said that Azerbaijan was making "severe provocation," and Azerbaijan said that Armenia was attacking deep into its territory. Russia was able to get the fighting to stop within hours, but fighting continued for a third day. Analysts say that American officials helped bring about a truce.

Olesya Vartanyan, a senior analyst on the South Caucasus for the International Crisis Group, said on Saturday, "The situation remains fragile." She said that Armenia said that Azerbaijani troops were on its land, including near one of its towns and in several villages near the border with Azerbaijan.

She said, "The Armenian side doesn't seem to be able to set up a good military defense to stop the Azerbaijani troops from moving deeper into Armenian territory." "A small problem can lead to more fighting."

Mr. Pashinyan told a government meeting on Friday that Azerbaijan had killed 135 Armenian soldiers in the last few days. He also said that the number of dead was likely to go up because many of the injured soldiers had died from their injuries. Azerbaijan said on Tuesday that 50 soldiers and border guards had died on the first day.

Ms. Pelosi, who is the third-highest-ranking government official in the U.S., has recently put herself in the middle of some of the most heated conflicts in the world. In May, she went to Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, where she met with President Volodymyr Zelensky. In August, she went to Taiwan, which made China very angry.

Matthew Bryza, a former American ambassador to Azerbaijan, said that Speaker Pelosi seems to be trying to show off the diplomatic power of the U.S. Congress by getting involved in a regional conflict between two countries, possibly without close coordination with the executive branch, as she did when she recently went to Taiwan.

But, he said, she was only seeing one side of the conflict. He said that Ms. Pelosi was saying that her trip was to support human rights and the dignity of all people. He also said that she was "reflecting the Armenian government's claim that Azerbaijan started this latest round of fighting."

Zaur Shiriyev, a South Caucasus analyst for the International Crisis Group in Baku, Azerbaijan, said that American officials have been working hard to get Azerbaijan and Armenia back to the negotiating table. However, if Ms. Pelosi's actions upset these efforts, "then U.S. diplomatic efforts will not be seen in Baku in a good light," he said.

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