Armenia and Azerbaijan Agree to Ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh
The ceasefire agreement was announced by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. According to him, the end of the war is necessary to exchange the prisoners and bodies killed in the conflict in the contested region.
Lavrov said Baku and Yerevan also agreed to initiate substantive talks on the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh.
“The Republic of Azerbaijan, the Republic of Armenia, with the mediation of the co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, based on the basic principles of settlement, started substantive negotiations with the aim of reaching a peaceful settlement as soon as possible,” Lavrov said.
The joint statement in the agreement, quoted by Lavrov, said that the specific parameters of the ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh would be agreed on separately.
The statement also said that the parties are committed to keeping the format of the talks in Nagorno-Karabakh unchanged.
Previously, Turkey warned that efforts by France, the United States (US) and Russia to end fighting between Azerbaijan and Armenia in Nagorno-Karabakh would fail unless they guaranteed the withdrawal of Armenian troops from the region.
Russia managed to get the two countries to agree on a ceasefire in talks in Moscow, a day after France, Russia and the United States discussed the conflict in Geneva.
Turkey has criticized the so-called Armenian occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh, an ethnic Armenian-controlled territory of Azerbaijan. Turkey affirms its complete solidarity with Baku.
Turkish President spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said Ankara wanted a diplomatic solution but that all attempts by the Minsk group not to call for a withdrawal of Armenian troops would fail.
“If they just call for a ceasefire, if they work only towards a ceasefire, it will be nothing more than repeating what happened over the last 30 years or so,” Kalin said during an interview with Al Jazeera.
“It is almost certain to fail if it does not involve a detailed plan to end the occupation,” said Kalin.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said Azerbaijan’s offensive in Nagorno-Karabakh would not stop until Armenia withdrew its troops and other militias brought into the region.
“Until the occupation ends, until the terrorists and mercenaries leave, no one can expect our Azerbaijan brothers to stop,” he said.