Armenia, Azerbaijan agree to ceasefire after talks in Moscow

Lavrov said the two nations would begin talks to settle the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute

armenia azerbaijan talks reuters Azerbaijan Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov (left), Russian FM Sergei Lavrov (centre) and Armenia's Zohrab Mnatsakanyan | Reuters

Armenia and Azerbaijan have agreed to implement a ceasefire from 12pm (Moscow time) on Saturday, over two weeks after the two nations started clashes over the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region.

The ceasefire announcement was made by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who held negotiations with Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan and his Azeri counterpart Jeyhun Bayramov, in Moscow.

Lavrov made the ceasefire announcement early on Saturday morning after holding negotiations for 10 hours with the officials from Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Lavrov also announced the two nations would begin talks to settle the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute.

The ceasefire would be implemented to facilitate exchange of prisoners and bodies of people killed in the conflict. International Red Cross Committee would be the intermediary in the humanitarian operation.

The latest outburst of fighting between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces began on September 27 and marked the biggest escalation of the decades-old conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh.

The region lies in Azerbaijan but has been under control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since the end of a separatist war in 1994. The separatist war led to the deaths of 30,000 people.

The Kremlin said Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed calling a ceasefire to exchange prisoners and collect the bodies of dead soldiers.

"Azerbaijan said on Friday that 31 Azeri civilians had been killed and 168 wounded since September 27. It has not disclosed information about military casualties. Nagorno-Karabakh said 376 of its military personnel and 22 civilians had been killed since the beginning of the conflict," Reuters reported.


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