WASHINGTON

Nearly 200 people gathered outside the US Capitol building in Washington on Wednesday to protest Armenia’s attacks on Azerbaijani territories and occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh.

The protesters, carrying Azerbaijani and Turkish flags, as well as banners criticizing Armenia’s actions, shouted slogans in favor of Baku in front of the White House.

They urged the US administration to put an end to Armenia’s occupation and attacks on civilians.

The protesters then headed to Turkey’s embassy in Washington DC to convey their thanks for Turkey’s solidarity with Azerbaijan. Embassy officials welcomed the protesters and reiterated Turkey’s support for Azerbaijan.

Tension between Azerbaijan, Armenia

Clashes began on Sept. 27 when Armenian forces targeted civilian Azerbaijani settlements and military positions in the region, leading to casualties.

Relations between the two former Soviet republics have been tense since 1991 when the Armenian military occupied Upper Karabakh.

The OSCE Minsk Group — co-chaired by France, Russia, and the US — was formed in 1992 to find a peaceful solution to the conflict, but to no avail. A cease-fire, however, was agreed to in 1994.

Roughly 20% of Azerbaijan’s territory has remained under illegal Armenian occupation for some three decades.

The two states agreed to a humanitarian cease-fire taking effect on Saturday for the exchange of prisoners and retrieval of bodies in Upper Karabakh.

The truce came after a trilateral meeting in Moscow on Friday among the foreign ministers of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia.

But, Armenian forces on Sunday launched a missile strike on Azerbaijan’s second-largest city Ganja — although the region is outside the frontline zone — killing 10 civilians and injuring 35.

Many world powers, including Russia, France, and the US, have urged a new cease-fire. Turkey, meanwhile, has supported Baku’s right to self-defense and demanded the withdrawal of Armenia’s occupying forces.

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