Armenia, Azerbaijan continue to clash over Nagorno-Karabakh despite US talks

WION Web Team
Yerevan/Baku, Armenia/Azerbaijan Published: Oct 25, 2020, 04:32 PM(IST)

FILE Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The clashes came even as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hosted the foreign ministers of both countries in a new peace push on Friday.

Fresh clashes erupted between Azerbaijan and ethnic Armenian forces on Sunday over the mountainous enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh as both sides continued to blame each other for violating the ceasefire.

The clashes came even as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hosted the foreign ministers of both countries in a new peace push on Friday.

While Armenia accused Azeri forces of shelling civilian settlements, Baku denied killing civilians.

Azerbaijan said it was ready to implement a ceasefire, provided that Armenian forces withdrew from the battlefield.

The collapse of two Russia-brokered ceasefires had already dimmed the prospect of a quick end to fighting that broke out on September 27 over Nagorno-Karabakh.

Local officials in Nagorno-Karabakh accused Azeri forces of firing artillery on settlements in the areas of Askeran and Martuni during the night. Azerbaijan said its positions had been attacked with small arms, mortars, tanks, mortars, and howitzers.

Armenian President Armen Sarkissian accused Baku of being "aggressively stubborn and destructive".

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, in an exclusive conversation with WION on Saturday, said Turkey was directly involved in the war as it was sending mercenaries and armed men to help Azerbaijan. He also said they had information that Pakistan was also sending armed terrorists to help Azeri cause.

World powers want to prevent a wider war that draws in Turkey, which has voiced strong support for Azerbaijan, and Russia, which has a defence pact with Armenia.

Differences over the conflict have further strained relations between Ankara and its NATO allies, with Pompeo accusing Turkey of fuelling the conflict by arming the Azeri side. Ankara denies it has inflamed the conflict.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he hoped that the United States would help Moscow broker a solution to the conflict.

About 30,000 people were killed in a 1991-94 war over Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenians regard the enclave as part of their historic homeland; Azeris consider it illegally occupied land that must be returned to their control.

(with inputs)

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