ARMENIA. Armenia and Azerbaijan have made a pact to avoid shelling residential areas amid fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh on Friday. Along with this, the two countries are going to talk about this situation in Geneva. Meanwhile, Azerbaijani troops are going deeper into the separatist territory. According to the reports, Armenia has requested help from Russia to fight against Azerbaijan.
Conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh
The two sides have decided to help recover and exchange the remains of soldiers left on the battlefield. They will also submit the lists of prisoners of war for “providing access and eventual exchange”. The talks between foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan were sponsored by the Minsk Group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. The United States, Russia, and France are the co-chairs in the peace talks.
Nagorno-Karabakh lies within Azerbaijan but has been under the control of Armenian forces since 1994. The latest outburst began on September 27 and left thousands of dead. The U.S. and Russia had tried to help the two countries with their peace talks. But, the two sides have repeatedly blamed each other for violations.
On Friday, co-chairs of the Minsk Group urged the sides to honor their ceasefire commitments. In a statement, they said, “The Co-Chairs will continue working with the sides intensively to find a peaceful settlement of the conflict.”
Shelling by the Azerbaijani military
Meanwhile, Azerbaijani forces continued their offensive into Nagorno-Karabakh after more than a month of intense fighting. The Azerbaijani military reported that areas in the Terter and Gubadli regions of Azerbaijan came under Armenian shelling. On Thursday, Nagorno-Karabakh’s separatist leader said Azerbaijani troops had advanced to within 5 kilometers (about 3 miles) of a strategically located town just south of the region’s capital, Stepanakert.
Earlier, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev had insisted that Azerbaijan had the right to reclaim its territory by force. He said that Armenia must pledge to withdraw from Nagorno-Karabakh as a condition for a lasting truce.
Azerbaijani troops have relied on strike drones and long-range rocket system supplied by Turkey. They have also reclaimed control of several regions of Nagorno-Karabakh and forged into the separatist territory from the south.
According to Nagorno-Karabakh officials, 1,166 of their troops and 39 civilians have been killed. Azerbaijani authorities haven’t disclosed their military losses, but say the fighting has killed at least 91 civilians and wounded 400. However, Russian President, Vladimir Putin has claimed that the actual death toll was around 5,000.