Armenia, Azerbaijan agree to ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh from Oct. 10

2020-10-10 15:40:28CGTN Editor : Feng Shuang ECNS App Download

Armenia and Azerbaijan have agreed to a ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh from October 10, after 10 hours of negotiations in Moscow. The ceasefire is set to go into effect later on Saturday. 

The top diplomats from the two countries said in a statement that the truce is intended to exchange prisoners and recover the dead, adding that specific details will be agreed on later. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the cease-fire should pave way for talks on settling the conflict. 

Armenia and Azerbaijan also agreed to "start substantive talks aimed at the quickly reaching a peaceful solution," Lavrov said, adding that the exact terms of the ceasefire will be agreed to at a later time. 

Armenia and Azerbaijan on Friday began their first high-level talks after nearly two weeks of clashes over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region. 

"It has begun," Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote as she posted a picture of the foreign ministers of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan sitting at a round table in Moscow. 

With President Vladimir Putin calling for a halt to military actions in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the Kremlin extended the invitation to Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov and his Armenian counterpart Zohrab Mnatsakanyan on Friday. 

The fight over the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave erupted in September, killing hundreds of people. The mountain enclave belongs to Azerbaijan under international law but broke away in a war as the Soviet Union collapsed and is populated and governed by ethnic Armenians. 

The renewed fighting in the decades-old conflict has raised fears of a wider war drawing in Turkey. The clashes have also increased concern about the security of pipelines that carry Azeri oil and gas to Europe. 

Since September 27, over 400 people have been killed in fighting over the contested region, which is an Armenian enclave officially part of Azerbaijan, but under control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since the end of a separatist war in 1994. 

The continued fighting and rising tension underline the difficulties facing U.S., Russian and French officials meeting in Geneva to try to bring the warring sides to the negotiating table. Washington, Paris and Moscow are co-chairs of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe's Minsk Group that has led mediation over Nagorno-Karabakh since 1992. 

The fighting is the worst since a 1991-94 war that killed about 30,000 people and ended with a ceasefire that has been violated repeatedly.


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