Nagorno-Karabakh Foreign Minister Calls on Int'l Community to Recognise Republic

Elias Hubbard
October 20, 2020

A new ceasefire between Armenia and Azerbaijan to end three weeks of fighting in the Nagorno-Karabakh region was again failing to hold on Monday, as ethnic Armenian forces and Azerbaijan traded accusations of renewed shelling.

Shushan Stepanyan, the Armenian defense ministry spokeswoman, said in a statement Monday that Azerbaijan overnight targeted civilian facilities in the communities of Martuni, Urekan, Ishkhanadzor, Aygehovit and Vurgavan.

"In my opinion, we must induce the parties to agree on key provisions that will allow stabilizing the situation in this region in the longer term, unblocking economic and transport links and ensuring reliable security of both Karabakh and other territories located there", added Lavrov. Azerbaijani armed forces continued not only military operations along the front line, but also intensively bombed civilian settlements. According to Azerbaijan's estimates, since the start of the current clashes, the Azerbaijani military destroyed more than 200 Armenian tanks, 35 Osa anti-aircraft systems, 1 TOR air-defense system, 3 expensive S-300 air-defense systems (YouTube, October 17), 16 command centers and about 170 trucks.

Armenia and Azerbaijan each accused the other of shelling their cities overnight, despite a truce backed by worldwide mediators aimed at quelling the violence, which has left hundreds dead.

On Saturday, Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed to try another humanitarian ceasefire that broke down within hours.

On October 14, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called for the deployment of Russian observers in the NKR.

The Moscow meeting resulted in a humanitarian ceasefire that came into force on 10 October but failed to hold. "Karabakh is Azerbaijan!" President Aliyev wrote on Twitter. But Armenian military officials denied this fact for three or four days.

"There is a need to ensure verification (of a ceasefire - TASS), I think that's the most pressing issue now, since the agreement on a ceasefire has been reached it was not observed", said Nebenzya, who presides over the UN Security Council in October.

The ceasefire was the second brokered by Russian Federation after one earlier this month that let the sides swap detainees and bodies of those killed in the clashes.

The new deal was announced after one of the conflict's deadliest attacks on civilians so far on Saturday, when a missile hit a residential area of Azerbaijan's second city Ganja, killing 13 people including children.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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