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Clinton To Visit Baku Amid Azeri-Armenian Tensions


U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is to make a trip to Azerbaijan on June 6 on the final leg of her tour of South Caucasus countries.

Clinton is flying from Georgia's Black Sea resort of Batumi, where she urged President Mikheil Saakashvili on June 5 to hold free and fair parliamentary elections.

The visit to Azerbaijan comes after Armenia and Azerbaijan traded accusations of responsibility for deadly border incidents this week.

Five Azerbaijani soldiers were killed on June 5 in shoot-outs between Armenian and Azerbaijani troops near their border, a day after three Armenian soldiers were reported killed in a border skirmish.

Clinton, who visited Armenia on June 4, voiced concern that tensions over Nagorno-Karabakh, the ethnic Armenian separatist territory inside Azerbaijan, could lead to a "broader conflict."

Clinton is to visit Turkey on June 7.

Based on reporting by AFP and Interfax

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