U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's recent visit to Armenia following the Caucasus nation's clashes with its neighbor Azerbaijan was criticized by regional countries as a move that does not contribute to peace.
Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said on Monday that Pelosi's "biased" statements regarding the clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan "sabotage diplomacy efforts" and were unacceptable.
On Twitter, Oktay also called on Washington to clarify whether Pelosi's statements reflect the official U.S. position.
The Kremlin on Monday said that "loud announcements" from Pelosi on the causes of the border conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia were unlikely to help stabilize the situation.
In a call with reporters, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that a "quiet and businesslike approach" to the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict would bear fruit.
Peskov said: "Anything... done in a quiet and businesslike approach can contribute to the normalization of relations, the stabilization of the situation on the border, all this can be welcomed. Can such high-profile actions and statements really contribute to the normalization of the situation? Let's see."
Pelosi visited Armenia this weekend, in an unprecedented show of U.S. support for the country, which has for over three decades been locked in conflict with its neighbor Azerbaijan over the region of Karabakh.
During her visit, Pelosi praised Armenia's democracy and criticized what she called Azerbaijan's "illegal" attacks, after clashes broke out along the two countries' border last week, claiming over 200 lives.
Groundless, unfair accusations" against Azerbaijan made by Pelosi during her visit to Armenia are "unacceptable," the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry also said Sunday.
"The statement made by the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi during her visit to Armenia on Sept. 18, 2022, which distorts the situation in the region, is deeply regrettable," the ministry said in a statement.
"Groundless and unfair accusations made by Pelosi against Azerbaijan are unacceptable."
Noting that "Pelosi is known as a pro-Armenian politician," it said the "presence of pro-Armenian members of Congress in her delegation to Armenia is pure evidence of this."
The ministry claimed that Pelosi's Armenia visit aims to take the support of the Armenian lobby as the midterm elections to the U.S. Congress is approaching.
"It is unacceptable to transfer political intrigues and lobbying interests from the U.S. domestic political agenda to the South Caucasus region via Armenia," it said.
"We regretfully emphasize that N. Pelosi, who speaks about justice, has not demonstrated any position regarding the policy of aggression by Armenia against Azerbaijan, occupation of Azerbaijan's territory for almost 30 years, the ethnic cleansing of hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis and other such serious crimes for which Armenia is responsible," it added.
Pelosi's statement "is a serious blow to efforts to normalize relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan."
"Such unilateral steps and groundless statements serve not to strengthen the fragile peace in the region, but, rather to escalate tension," it concluded.
Pelosi's visit came after Azerbaijan and Armenia reached a cease-fire on Wednesday following the border clashes.
The recent fighting claimed lives on both sides with Azerbaijan reporting 77 soldiers killed and two civilians wounded. Armenia said 135 of its soldiers were killed and six civilians were wounded.
Relations between the former Soviet republics have been tense since 1991 when the Armenian military illegally occupied Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan.