STEPANAKERT, Azerbaijan – Armenia's new prime minister has marked his first full day in office by visiting the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh and pledging to maintain security guarantees to the region that is part of Azerbaijan.
Nikol Pashinian's visit Wednesday was an effort to show continuity in his country's security policies after the weeks of protests that resulted in his appointment.
He reasserted Armenia's commitment to Nagorno-Karabakh, a part of neighboring Azerbaijan that ethnic Armenian forces have controlled for more than two decades.
Pashinian called for "peaceful negotiations" to end the conflict, but accused Azerbaijan of ratcheting up tensions. He said the self-declared government in Nagorno-Karabakh should be included in talks.
The government in Azerbaijan said the Armenian leader's visit stemmed from "naiveté" or "ignorance" about the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.