Azerbaijan and Armenia agree to a ceasefire
The controversy began with the collapse of the Soviet Union when Nagorno-Karabakh declared independence from Azerbaijan, which sparked a violent conflict that ended in the 1994 ceasefire.
Armenia supported Nagorno Karabakh, which established a true independence which was not recognized by most of the people of the world. Although it is located within the borders of Azerbaijan, the region is densely populated and controlled by Armenians.
Armenia says there is a current expansion between Karabakh and Azerbaijan.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov spoke by phone with his Azerbaijani and Armenian counterparts on Saturday, stressing the need to keep the fighting going, Russian Foreign Ministry said.
Araik Harutuyanyan, the leader of the rival region, welcomed the new peace initiative, saying in a statement that “the Republic of Artzak confirms readiness to abide by the humanitarian agreement on a mutual basis” in accordance with the Moscow broker ceasefire agreements on Saturday and a week ago.
Nagorno Karabakh is called Artzak by the Armenians.
In the wake of the latest ceasefire attempt on Saturday, Azerbaijan has been accused of launching rocket attacks on Armenia against its second largest city, killing at least 13 civilians – including three children – and wounding more than 50.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev called the missile attack a “cowardly shell” that “could not break the will of the people of Azerbaijan”.
The attack took place early Saturday morning and targeted civilian residences in the central part of the city, according to a statement from the Azerbaijani prosecutor’s office.
Azerbaijan’s presidential adviser, Hikmet Hajiev, has accused Armenia of using ballistic missiles in the attack, officials said on Twitter, adding that officials had evidence to support the claim.
“Let the international community look at Armenia’s barbaric actions against civilians,” Hajiev added.
Video and photos from the scene showed rescue workers clearing debris to reach survivors. The public prosecutor’s office said authorities were compiling a complete list of victims.
Last weekend, several ceasefires fell after several weeks, with accusations that the two countries had breached the agreement.
France has demanded an “immediate end to hostilities” since the outbreak of fighting between the two countries on the morning of September 27.
Last week, a short-lived ceasefire was signed by the UN. Michael Bachelet, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, followed up by talking about the suffering that conflicts cause to the public.
The controversy over Nagorno-Karabakh has been running hot and cold since the 1994 ceasefire.
The region is located within the borders of Azerbaijan, which is connected to Armenia by an expensive highway. It is heavily militarized and its forces are backed by Armenia, which has a security alliance with Russia.
Tensions have risen since July as the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan collided for several days.
CNN’s Aren Melikyan, Tim Lister and Arsu Kaifullah contributed to the report.
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