US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

Pompeo Hopes Armenians Will Be Able to Defend Themselves against Azerbaijanis


ATLANTA – US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo expressed hopes that the Armenians will be able to defend themselves against the Azerbaijanis in a radio interview with Erick Erickson of the Erick Erickson Show on WSB Atlanta on October 15. He offered no indication of US assistance. The excerpt from the transcript of the show below is from the official State Department website.

SECRETARY POMPEO:  Well, I didn’t know your history there in Dubai.  Let me – two things, and then I’ll turn to Armenia.  What the Emirati leadership did in making the decision not to make hate for Israel the core piece of their foreign policy was bold and will benefit the people of every one of the Emirates, whether it’s in Abu Dhabi, or Dubai, or elsewhere.  It’s a good thing for the region.  It’s a great thing for the American people, who will have to send fewer there – fewer of their kids to go fight in faraway places in the Middle East.  The risk of terror in the area is reduced too, as we all focus on the real threat from the Islamic Republic of Iran.

When you say that, you now turn to the conflicts that are there, and you watch what’s taking place in Azerbaijan and Armenia today.  It is dangerous.  We now have the Turks, who have stepped in and provided resources to Azerbaijan, increasing the risk, increasing the firepower that’s taking place in this historic fight over this place called Nagorno-Karabakh, a small territory with about 150,000 people, but —

QUESTION:  Right, for the —

SECRETARY POMPEO:  — highly contentious.

QUESTION:  — last thousand years?

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SECRETARY POMPEO:  Yeah, it’s a longstanding conflict.  The resolution of that conflict ought to be done through negotiation and peaceful discussions, not through armed conflict, and certainly not with third party countries coming in to lend their firepower to what is already a powder keg of a situation.  We – we’re hopeful that the Armenians will be able to defend against what the Azerbaijanis are doing, and that they will all, before that takes place, get the ceasefire right, and then sit down at the table and try and sort through this – that is – what is a truly historic and complicated problem set.

QUESTION:  (Laughter.)  Very much so, it is.  Listen, I know you’re pressed on time, but thank you very much for stopping by this morning.  Best of luck to you and your leadership there with the Secretary of State’s office.  I truly have been impressed with your leadership —

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