GORIS, Armenia – Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed to a new cease-fire in their conflict over a disputed territory, the countries said on Saturday, days after a truce negotiation a day earlier was unpublished.
Warring neighbors in the southern Caucasus region announced a settlement in the disputed region, Nagorno-Karabakh, brief Statement Released late Saturday night by their foreign ministries, it was described as a “humanitarian struggle” to allow prisoners and the remains of the dead to be exchanged.
But the intense battle leading up to the announcement raised questions about whether the truce would be more durable than the deal reached after a 10-hour negotiation in Moscow last weekend that failed to end the fierce clash with the front line.
At midnight the new truss took effect, but neither of them decided how long it would last.
France said it coordinated the latest ceasefire in the days and hours leading up to Saturday’s announcement in coordination with Russia and the United States.
The office of French President Emmanuel Macron said, “This ceasefire should be observed unconditionally and strictly by both sides.” Said in a statement. “France will be very attentive to this and will remain committed so that the hostilities end on a permanent basis and it can begin credibly quickly.”
Any halt to the conflict in the volatile Southern Caucasus region between the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea and to those around Nagorno-Karabakh would be welcome.
The war has already killed more than 600 Armenian soldiers, scores of civilians and an unknown number of Azerbaijanis. This has put the spiral in danger Widespread regional conflictAzerbaijan’s main ally, with the ability to advance to Turkey; Russia, which has a mutual defense agreement with Armenia; And even the region’s southern neighbor, Iran.
Nagorno-Karbakh is an ethnic Armenian enclave that is part of Azerbaijan under international law but is closely associated with Armenia.
In the last war on Nagorno-Karbakh in the early 1990s, some 20,000 people were killed and about one million displaced, most of whom were from Azerbaijan. Years of stress The position of the enclave between Armenia and Azerbaijan has since turned into an open war on 27 September, with Azerbaijan seeking to control the area by force.
On Saturday, Azerbaijan said 14 people were killed in the country’s second-ranked Ganja city in an overnight missile attack in Armenia.
The capital of Nagorno-Karabakh, Steffenart, was also attacked on Friday night, with airborne siren blasts and explosions echoing through the largely empty city on Saturday morning.
Along the front, Azerbaijan and Armenia have engaged in trench warfare and artillery fighting, fighting for small areas causing heavy casualties.