Moscow Hosts Armenia, Azerbaijan Truce Talks As Fighting Rages

Russian kremlin. Image Source: Wikipedia/Крылов Иван

Russia on Friday confirmed that Armenia and Azerbaijan have agreed to join talks in Moscow on ending the fighting over Nagorno-Karabak, as the fierce clashes over the disputed region showed no signs of de-escalation, reported NDTV on Friday.

Russia’s foreign ministry confirmed that senior diplomats from the two countries are joining talks in the Russian capital following a late-night appeal on Thursday from President Vladimir Putin.

“Baku and Yerevan have confirmed their participation,” Russia’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told AFP, adding that preparations were underway.

According to the defence officials of Armenia and Azerbaijan fierce clashes continued overnight Thursday to Friday and reported further civilian deaths
Putin’s announcement of talks in Moscow came shortly after international mediators from France, Russia and the United States launched their first efforts to resolve the fighting in Geneva.

Fighting erupted between Armenian separatists and Azerbaijan’s army late last month over the disputed region in Azerbaijan that declared independence following a war in the 1990s.

Both sides have dismissed mounting calls to end the fighting that has claimed some 400 lives including dozens of civilians, and Azerbaijan has said it is determined to capture the majority-Armenian province.

The Russian Kremlin said late Thursday that following a series of calls with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev, Putin was calling for an end to hostilities in Karabakh “in order to exchange dead bodies and prisoners”.

The two countries’ foreign ministers were invited to the Russian capital to broker an end to the hostilities in talks mediated by the Russian foreign ministry, the Kremlin said.

Diplomatic efforts to find a lasting solution to the decades-old stalemate have faltered since a precarious ceasefire was agreed in 1994.
Since the fighting restarted both sides have accused the other of shelling areas populated by civilians and thousands of people have been displaced by the clashes.

Dozens of civilians have been confirmed killed and the Armenian side has acknowledged 350 military deaths, while Azerbaijan has not admitted to any fatalities among its troops.

Turkey’s strong backing for Azerbaijan has sown fears in the West that the conflict could spiral into a full-blown war embroiling Ankara with Moscow, which has a military treaty with Armenia.

Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron are among the world leaders to denounce the reported deployment of pro-Turkish fighters from Syria and Libya to Karabakh and Iran this week warned of “terrorists” who had joined the conflict from abroad.

Fighting erupted between Armenian separatists and Azerbaijan’s army late last month over the disputed region in Azerbaijan that declared independence following a war in the 1990s.

Both sides have dismissed mounting calls to end the fighting that has claimed some 400 lives including dozens of civilians, and Azerbaijan has said it is determined to capture the majority-Armenian province.

The Russian Kremlin said late Thursday that following a series of calls with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev, Putin was calling for an end to hostilities in Karabakh “in order to exchange dead bodies and prisoners”.

The two countries’ foreign ministers were invited to the Russian capital to broker an end to the hostilities in talks mediated by the Russian foreign ministry, the Kremlin said.

Diplomatic efforts to find a lasting solution to the decades-old stalemate have faltered since a precarious ceasefire was agreed in 1994.

Since the fighting restarted both sides have accused the other of shelling areas populated by civilians and thousands of people have been displaced by the clashes.
Dozens of civilians have been confirmed killed and the Armenian side has acknowledged 350 military deaths, while Azerbaijan has not admitted to any fatalities among its troops.

Turkey’s strong backing for Azerbaijan has sown fears in the West that the conflict could spiral into a full-blown war embroiling Ankara with Moscow, which has a military treaty with Armenia.

Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron are among the world leaders to denounce the reported deployment of pro-Turkish fighters from Syria and Libya to Karabakh and Iran this week warned of “terrorists” who had joined the conflict from abroad.