Pompeo holds talks over Nagorno-Karabakh crisis
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is meeting the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia in an effort to end nearly a month of bloodshed.
Fighting continued in several areas of Nagorno-Karabakh on Friday (October 23), hours before talks were due to start in Washington.
Deadly clashes in the mountain region have seen over 5,000 people killed in recent weeks, according to figures from Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The collapse of two Russia-brokered ceasefires has also dimmed hopes of a quick end to fighting that broke out over Nagorno-Karabakh, a breakaway territory which is within Azerbaijan but controlled by ethnic Armenians.
Pompeo will hold separate talks with the respective foreign ministers, although it’s not clear if they will meet each other directly.
Earlier this week, said he hoped for a diplomatic solution and the "right path forward" could be found, with Putin expressing his desire for Washington to act in unison with Russia.
However, the Armenian and Azeri leadership have both cast doubts on any peace arrangement being agreed anytime soon.
The Armenians regard Nagorno-Karabakh as part of their historic homeland and accuse Azerbaijan of making a land grab in the recent fighting.