Azerbaijani officials announced on Wednesday, September 20, the start of negotiations aimed at a ceasefire and the reunification of the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenian separatists, for their part, announced they were laying down their arms and confirmed a ceasefire and the start of negotiations, which will take place on Thursday in the Azerbaijani city of Yevlakh.
“An agreement was reached on the withdrawal of the remaining units and soldiers of the Armed Forces of Armenia. (…) And on the dissolution and complete disarmament of the armed forces of the Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Army », declared a separatist presidency. The agreement will come into force at 1pm local time (11am Paris time).
Armenia “not participating” Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said on the draft of the ceasefire agreement. He is one “very important” After the ceasefire is declared, fighting in the area will stop, Mr. Pashinyan ruled. “Intensity of military operations has significantly reduced” But she didn’t “Falled to Zero”he added During his address to the nationHe hoped that “Military Increase” will not continue. “It is very important to maintain stability and suspend military operations”He argued.
Earlier in the morning, explosions were still ringing in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. On Tuesday, the Azerbaijani army launched a military operation in the separatist region, inhabited mainly by Armenians, which has been disputed for decades.
At least there would have been conflicts “32 people died » and “Over 200 injured”, according to Anahid Manasian, a human rights official with the Armenian authorities. These figures could not be independently verified.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev had stipulated that separatists “Lay down their weapons”with a view to a truce. “Civilians and infrastructure are not targeted, only legitimate military targets are destroyed”Mr. Aliyev gave the assurance to US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken during a telephone interview on Tuesday.
According to pictures posted on social networks, a lot of debris and destroyed vehicles are scattered on some streets of the capital city of Nagorno-Karabakh, Stepanakert (Armenian name) or Kankendi (Azerbaijani name). On Tuesday, the city was already affected “Extreme Shooting”According to the representation of the separatists in Armenia, on Facebook.
According to Russia “more than 2,000 civilians” were evacuated
“There is no need to leave at this time, we ask that you respect safety rules and remain in basements and bomb shelters”In a press release on Wednesday morning, the town hall asked the residents of Stepanagert.
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For its part, the Russian Ministry of Defense, responsible for the peacekeeping mission after the last war in 2020, announced. telegram Empty “More than 2,000 civilians” areas “Very Dangerous” In this area, “Including 1,049 children”.
Armenian separatist officials organized an emergency meeting of the separatist region’s Security Council on Wednesday. During this meeting the separatists A “The International Community’s Response (…) not enough »A step Press release issued At X (formerly Twitter) separatist officials’ foreign ministry.
An operation was launched after six Azerbaijanis died
The military operation was triggered after four police officers and two Azerbaijani civilians died in a mine explosion in Nagorno-Karabakh overnight from Monday to Tuesday. Baku had accused a group “Saboteurs” Armenian separatists for committing these acts “Terrorism”.
This comes against the backdrop of renewed tensions between the two countries over the fate of the enclave. In early August, Armenia called for an emergency meeting of the United Nations (UN) Security Council. “Deteriorating Humanitarian Situation” in the region. The Lachin Corridor, the only land route between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh, was first blocked by Azerbaijanis posing as environmental protesters before Baku established a road blockade on July 11, citing security concerns.
Nagorno-Karabakh, a mountainous region with an Armenian majority located in Azerbaijan, has been the scene of two wars, in the early 1990s and then in the fall of 2020. It is one of the most cut regions in the former Soviet Union. There are frequent explosions and casualties.
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