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Azeri forces ready with Armenian response

June 8, 2012 at 10:09 AM

BAKU, Azerbaijan, June 8 (UPI) -- Armenian forces intervened in the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh as a statement of sorts to a U.S. diplomat, an official said.

Skirmishes broke out between Azeri and Armenian forces this week over Nagorno-Karabakh. Both sides have gone to war over the territory, which Azerbaijan claims as its own.

Azeri Deputy Prime Minister Ali Gasanov suggested "provocation" from the Armenians was timed to coincide with a visit to the region from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Russia's state-run news agency RIA Novosti reports.

Clinton, during talks with Azeri officials in Baku this week, said conflict wouldn't solve the issue, simmering since at least the 1990s.

"Presumably, some states patronizing Armenia were unhappy with the U.S. state secretary's visit, and they organized that incident," the deputy prime minister was quoted as saying.

Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan had said that his country wasn't interested in further escalation of the conflict. Talks are scheduled June 18 in Paris.

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