Armenia and Azerbaijan agree new Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire - ABC News

 proxy.yoo.workers.dev  10/17/2020 22:44:32 

Armenia and Azerbaijan have agreed to a new humanitarian ceasefire.

  • Both countries announced the ceasefire in identical statements
  • Russian mediated the initial ceasefire talks a week ago
  • Many Armenian citizens serve in Nagorno-Karabakh's army on a voluntary basis

The ceasefire in fighting over Azerbaijan's ethnic Armenian-controlled enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh was set to take effect from midnight on Saturday (local time).

Azerbaijan and Armenia had accused each other earlier on Saturday of fresh attacks in violation of a week-old Russian-brokered truce that had failed to halt the worst fighting in the South Caucasus since the 1990s.

Azerbaijan said 13 civilians were killed and more than 50 wounded in the city of Ganja by a missile attack from Nagorno-Karabakh.

Armenia, which supports Nagorno-Karabakh politically and economically and sends volunteers to serve in its army, had accused Azerbaijan of continued shelling.

The fighting is the worst in the region since Azerbaijan and ethnic Armenian forces went to war in the 1990s over Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory that is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan but populated and governed by ethnic Armenians.

A solider loads a round into a mortar cannon that is pointing upwards while another soldier looks on.
The fighting is the worst in the region since the 1990s.(AP: Azerbaijan Defence Ministry)

Both countries announced the ceasefire in identical statements.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who mediated the ceasefire talks a week ago, had talked to his Armenian and Azeri counterparts by phone on Saturday and stressed that the truce agreed a week ago must be observed, Moscow said.

Russia, France and the United States are members of the Minsk group, which has attempted to help resolve the long-running conflict under the umbrella of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

Nagorno-Karabakh's Foreign Ministry said in a statement after the announcement: "We welcome the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs as well as Armenia to achieve a ceasefire in the Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict zone as well as to reduce tensions.

French President Emmanuel Macron said the ceasefire must be "unconditional and strictly respected by both sides", according to a statement from his office.

A neighbour comforts home owner a crying home owner near her house destroyed by shelling.
The latest outburst of fighting between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces began September 27.(AP)

Armenia spoke to Azerbaijan on Nagorno-Karabakh's behalf as Azerbaijan refuses to negotiate with the separatist authorities.

Armenia said its armed forces were not involved in the conflict and have not launched any attacks towards Azerbaijan.

Many Armenian citizens, including the prime minister's son, serve in Nagorno-Karabakh's army on a voluntary basis.

Reuters

« Go back