20th April 2021

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The Armenian and Azerbaijani tussle

The Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers agreed to meet in Moscow to negotiate on Friday, hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin issued an invitation to host peace talks between the two warring nations, AFP reported.

“Baku and Yerevan have confirmed their participation in the consultations in Moscow,” “Active preparations are underway.”

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told AFP.
  • Putin has called for an end to the dispute on “humanitarian grounds” after hundreds of lives were killed following a recent resurgence of bitter fighting between neighboring nations in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.
  • “The president of Russia calls for an end to the fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh for humanitarian reasons in order to exchange corpses and prisoners,” a previous Kremlin statement read.
  • On September 27, clashes broke out between Armenia and Azerbaijan around the separatist Nagorno-Karabakh region and the Armenian Defense Ministry announced that two Azerbaijani helicopters had been shot down.
  • While the United States, France and Russia jointly condemned the fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh and called for a ceasefire, Turkey, an ally of Azerbaijan, rejected the demands for a ceasefire.

Here are the main updates on the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia

  • “Armenia and Azerbaijan will soon reach a truce,” says France.
  • Armenia and Azerbaijan are heading for a truce to end the recent resumption of fighting in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, the French presidency told AFP on Friday. A peace agreement is expected to be negotiated in the coming days.
  • “We are heading towards a truce tonight or tomorrow, but it is still fragile,” a spokesman for President Emmanuel Macron told AFP.
  • Macron spoke by phone with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Thursday night and with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on Friday. France should preside over the truce negotiations, along with Russia and the United States.
  • Iran warns of regional war as Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict escalates
  • In calling for a ceasefire, Iran warned that the resumption of fighting between its neighbors, Azerbaijan and Armenia, could turn into a full-blown regional war, the BBC reported.

“We must be careful that the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan does not turn into a regional war,” “Peace is the basis of our work and we hope to restore stability in the region in a peaceful manner.”

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told reporters on Wednesday.
  • President Rouhani added that it was “totally unacceptable” for the lost projectiles or missiles to land on Iranian soil, the BBC reported. Previous reports claimed that the shells had landed in some Iranian villages, located near its northern border with Armenia and Azerbaijan.
  • Nagorno-Karabakh says 26 soldiers died; the military toll is 376
  • The Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Ministry said on Friday that another 26 soldiers had been killed, raising the figure to 376 since clashes with Azerbaijani forces broke out nearly two weeks ago, Reuters reported.
  • According to Reuters, the conflict reached its worst level since the 1990s, when around 30,000 people died.
  • Armenia claims that the historic cathedral was affected by the bombings in Azerbaijan; Azerbaijan denies the accusation
  • Armenian authorities accused Azerbaijan of bombing the historic Cathedral of the Holy Savior in Nagorno-Karabakh on Thursday, DW reported. However, rejecting these accusations, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry stated that its army “does not target historical, cultural and, in particular, religious buildings and monuments.”
  • According to Armenia, the shelling severely damaged the dome and interior of the century-old church, also known as Ghazanchetsots Cathedral. Local reports claimed that several children and adults were present in the cathedral at the time of the attack, but no one was killed or injured.
  • The cathedral was attacked again several hours later, this time seriously wounding two Russian journalists, Armenian authorities said. The country’s Foreign Ministry called the attack a “monstrous crime and a challenge to civilized humanity,” DW reported. The ministry said that an attempt to destroy a religious building should constitute a war crime.
  • The status quo must be changed, says Turkey’s foreign minister
  • Commenting on the ongoing conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that “the status quo must be changed,” the Palestinian Authority reported. Until now, Turkey has openly supported Azerbaijan in the conflict and has offered to provide military assistance.
  • Speaking at the annual Globsec forum in Bratislava, Cavusoglu added that Turkey respects the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.
  • Half of Nagorno-Karabakh’s population displaced by fighting, rebels say
  • At least half the population of the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region has been displaced since clashes broke out between Armenian separatists and Azerbaijan, rebel officials told AFP.

“According to our preliminary estimates, around 50% of Karabakh’s population and 90% of women and children, between 70,000 and 75,000 people, have been displaced,”

said Karabakh mediator Artak Beglaryan.
  • Almost 300 people have died since the recent clashes between the two countries broke out last week. The death toll includes at least 47 civilians, DW reported.
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