New cease-fire announced in 4-week Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
Oct 26 2020
The statement said the agreement came after a meeting between Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov and U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen E. Biegun.
The Armenian troops in Qubadli withdrew with manpower and equipment losses, with numerous soldiers sent from the region of Tsaghkadzor in Armenia to Nagorno-Karabakh neutralised, it said.
Azerbaijan and Armenia have been locked in a bitter conflict over Karabakh since Armenian separatists backed by Yerevan seized control of the mountainous province in a 1990s war that left 30,000 people dead.
"Armenia continues its effort to bring Russian soldiers into the region through the Collective Security Treaty Organization [a military alliance between Russia, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan]", she said.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's separate discussions at the State Department with his counterparts from Armenia and Azerbaijan on Friday failed to produce an agreement to halt the ongoing fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh, Anadolu Agency reports.
Karabakh's self-declared independence has not been recognised internationally, even by Armenia, and it remains a part of Azerbaijan under global law.
Azerbaijan said 65 Azerbaijani civilians have been killed and 298 wounded but has not disclosed its military casualties.
The Armenian side has reported deaths and injuries both among the civilian population and the military.
President Ilham Aliyev told French newspaper Le Figaro that Azerbaijan was ready to sit down for negotiations but blamed Armenia's actions for the continued hostilities.
"There is no Armenia without Artsakh [Upper Karabakh] and so, protecting the rights of the people of Artsakh means protecting the rights of the Armenian people", Pashinyan posted on Twitter in English, using the name of the unrecognized "state" Armenian occupation forces set up in Nagorno-Karabakh.
In the meantime, the Azerbaijani army continued its military operations to retake territories occupied for almost 30 years by Armenian forces, the country's Defence Ministry said. Aliyev said that he wants the fighting to stop and the warring parties to "move to the negotiating table".
"Congratulations to Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, who just agreed to adhere to a cease fire effective at midnight".
World powers want to prevent a wider war that draws in Turkey, which has voiced strong support for Azerbaijan, and Russian Federation, which has a defence pact with Armenia.
Differences over the conflict have further strained relations between Turkey and its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.
The clashes have also anxious Iran, which has borders with both Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Iran's Revolutionary Guard said on Sunday it deployed round forces to the border near the area of the conflict. They again reaffirmed their commitment to implement and abide by a ceasefire in a statement issued from Paris on October 17, and violations were again reported by both sides.
Iran's state-run radio also reported Sunday on a limited drill by the army's ground forces near the country's northwestern borders.
It did not elaborate about the location of the drill, but Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan have joint borders with Iran in the area.