Armenia and Azerbaijan agree ceasefire over Nagorno-Karabakh

Armenia and Azerbaijan agree ceasefire over Nagorno-Karabakh
Armenia and Azerbaijan, mediated by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, took 10 hours to agree to a ceasefire. Source: EPA
2 Min Read

Daily US Times: Armenia and Azerbaijan have agreed to a temporary ceasefire after weeks of conflict in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov announced the agreement just before 03:00 Moscow time (midnight GMT), following 10 hours of talks in the Russian capital.

Mr Lavrov said the two countries would now begin “substantive” talks.

More than 300 people have died from both sides and thousands displaced since the latest violence in the long-running conflict broke out on 27 September.

The conflict will be halted from midday local time (08:00 GMT) on Saturday, to allow an exchange of prisoners and the recovery of dead bodies.

Although Nagorno-Karabakh is officially part of Azerbaijan, but it is run by ethnic Armenians.

Armenia and Azerbaijan, the two former Soviet republics, have blamed each other for the latest outbreak of violence – the worst in decades.

Russia has a military base in Armenia but also good relation with Azerbaijan. Both countries are members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) alliance.

The Armenian defence ministry said on Friday that fighting continued through the day, despite the talks being held in Moscow.

Armenia accused Azerbaijan on Thursday of deliberately shelling a historic cathedral in Nagorno-Karabakh. Pictures published in the media showed serious damage at the Holy Saviour Cathedral in Shusha city, which is also known as Shushi in Armenian.

Azerbaijan also said that Ganja, its second-largest city, and the region of Goranboy had been shelled by Armenian forces, with at least one civilian killed.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan warned of a “genocide” in the region while speaking to the BBC earlier this week, and said it was “Armenia, land of Armenians.”

You may read: Both Armenia and Azerbaijan defy Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire calls