Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict: Third attempt at ceasefire begins on Monday

Armenian soldiers fire artillery on the front line on October 25, 2020, during the ongoing fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh. (AFP)

A humanitarian ceasefire will take effect on Monday in the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh, a joint statement from the US State Department and the two governments said on Sunday.

Both countries’ foreign ministers met with Deputy US Secretary of State Stephen Biegun on Saturday and “reaffirmed their countries’ commitment to implement and abide by the humanitarian ceasefire agreed in Moscow on October 10,” according to the statement.

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“The United States facilitated intensive negotiations among the Foreign Ministers and the Minsk Group Co-Chairs to move Armenia and Azerbaijan closer to a peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.”

This will be the third attempt at a ceasefire between the two warring nations after two prior attempts on October 10 and October 18 were violated by exchanged fire and both countries’ government officials exchanging blame.

In a separate statement, the OSCE Minsk Group, formed to mediate the conflict and led by France, Russia and the United States, said its co-chairs and foreign ministers would meet again in Geneva on October 29 to discuss a “peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in accordance with the basic principles accepted by the leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia.”

Nagorno-Karabakh lies within Azerbaijan but has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since a war there ended in 1994. The latest fighting that began on September 27 has involved heavy artillery, rockets and drones, killing hundreds in the largest escalation of hostilities between the South Caucasus neighbors in more than a quarter-century.

- With AFP

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Last Update: Monday, 26 October 2020 KSA 23:17 - GMT 20:17
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