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New clashes in Nagorno-Karabakh after Washington talks

“We are ready to stop even today,” Aliyev was quoted as saying. “But, unfortunately, Armenia grossly violated the ceasefire …If they don’t stop, we will go to the end with the aim of liberating all the occupied territories.”

U.S. President Donald Trump said “good progress” was being made on the issue but did not elaborate and declined to say if he had spoken with the leaders of either country.

Asked how his talks went, Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan told reporters “very good” as he exited the U.S. State Department, and added that work on a ceasefire would continue.

World powers want to prevent a wider war that draws in Turkey, which has voiced strong support for Azerbaijan, and Russia, which has a defense pact with Armenia.

Shortly before the Washington talks, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan told reporters in Istanbul that he hoped Moscow and Ankara could work together on resolving the conflict.

Differences over the conflict have further strained relations between Ankara and its NATO allies, with Pompeo accusing Turkey of fueling the conflict by arming the Azeri side. Ankara denies it has inflamed the conflict.

Pompeo had said ahead of Friday’s talks that he hoped the “right path forward” could be found.

But Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said he saw no diplomatic resolution of the conflict at this stage, and Aliyev has described the prospects of a peace settlement as “very remote.”

About 30,000 people were killed in a 1991-94 war over Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenians regard the enclave as part of their historic homeland; Azeris consider it illegally occupied land that must be returned to their control. (Writing by Matthias Williams; editing by Jason Neely)

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