Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke today with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. Secretary Blinken emphasized the continuing importance of the U.S.-Azerbaijani bilateral partnership and the U.S. commitment to promoting a peaceful, democratic, and prosperous future for the South Caucasus region. Noting recent reports of escalation between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces, the Secretary called for the sides to show restraint and intensify diplomatic engagement to find comprehensive solutions to all outstanding issues. He also stressed the importance of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in Azerbaijan. The Secretary highlighted the U.S. commitment, alongside other partners, to continue to hold Moscow and its supporters, including the Lukashenka regime in Belarus, accountable for the Kremlin’s unprovoked and unjustified war against Ukraine.