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U.S. blames Turkey for inflaming situation in Nagorno-Karabakh

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Armenian and Azeri forces fought new clashes on Friday, defying hopes of ending nearly three weeks of fighting over the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave, and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Turkey for inflaming the situation by arming the Azeris.

The worst outbreak of violence in the South Caucasus since Armenia and Azerbaijan went to war over the enclave in the 1990s, the fighting risks creating a humanitarian disaster, especially if it draws in Russia and Turkey.

Nagorno-Karabakh is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan but populated and governed by ethnic Armenians.

Turkey has increased military exports sixfold this year to its close ally Azerbaijan. Russia is close to both sides but has a defence pact with Armenia. News agency RIA reported the Russian navy had started planned military exercises in the Caspian Sea.

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