Baku’s response comes after US house speaker blamed Azerbaijan for starting the border conflict with Armenia.

Pelosi, who arrived in Yerevan on Saturday for a three-day visit, is the highest-ranking US official to travel to Armenia since its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.
Pelosi, who arrived in Yerevan on Saturday for a three-day visit, is the highest-ranking US official to travel to Armenia since its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. (Reuters)

Azerbaijan has scolded US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi for saying that Baku had started a border conflict with Armenia, saying her remarks can undermine the peace efforts.

"The unsubstantiated and unfair accusations levelled by Pelosi against Azerbaijan are unacceptable," the Azerbaijani foreign ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

"This is a serious blow to the efforts to normalize relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan," the ministry added, casting Pelosi's remarks as "Armenian propaganda".

Pelosi made her remarks on Sunday during an official trip to Armenia, a key security ally of Russia. 

Her high profile visit is seen as an attempt to woo Yerevan away from Moscow as the West tries to further isolate Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

She is the highest-ranking US official to travel to Armenia since the tiny impoverished nation's 1991 independence from the Soviet Union.

Pelosi strongly condemned what she said were "illegal" border attacks by Azerbaijan on Armenia. 

Baku and Yerevan have accused each other of initiating the border clashes on Tuesday, which claimed the lives of more than 200 people.

READ MORE: Over 70 Azerbaijani soldiers killed in border 'provocations' by Armenia

'Baseless statements'

Azerbaijan said Pelosi's remarks were an attempt to cater to Armenian-Americans ahead of the US midterm elections.

"It is unacceptable to transfer the domestic political intrigues on the US agenda and lobbying interests to the South Caucasus region through Armenia," Azerbaijan said.

Pelosi's comments, it said, were perilous.

"Such unilateral steps and baseless statements serve not to strengthen the fragile peace in the region, but, on the contrary, to escalate tensions," the Azerbaijani foreign ministry said.

In the statement, Baku repeated its position that the fighting was the result of "a large-scale military provocation" by Armenia. That narrative is rejected by Yerevan.

"Currently, the ceasefire is being observed and the escalation of the situation has been prevented," Azerbaijan said.

READ MORE: Azerbaijan calls for ceasefire with Armenia as deaths soar

Source: TRTWorld and agencies