Armenia to work with OSCE on Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire

Armenia will work with OSCE on Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire
The sun is seen through the shattered window of a house that was allegedly damaged by recent shellin...

Armenia announced on Friday that it would meet the European Security Watchdog to revive the ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh. This comes as the death toll increased from five days of fighting over the breakaway area in the South Caucasus.

Azerbaijan, which is battling the Armenian ethnic groups in Nagorno-Karabakh, is yet to respond to the ceasefire request. Meanwhile, the request came on Thursday by France, the United States, and Russia. These three countries are-chairs of the Minsk Group of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which is mediating the crisis.

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But on Tuesday, Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev ruled out negotiations with Armenia on Nagorno-Karabakh. Also, Azerbaijan’s ally, Turkey, claimed the three major powers should play no part in peace-making on Thursday.

Moreover, more violence ensued overnight. The Nagorno-Karabakh Ministry of Defense announced 54 new military fatalities on Friday. Therefore, the total death toll among its forces now stands at 158.

Conflicts over Nagorno-Karabakh gets brutal

So far, over 11 civilians are dead, with more than 60 injured in the mountainous region. Besides, the region is part of Azerbaijan but operated by its mainly ethnic Armenians.

The Azeri Prosecutor’s Office claimed 19 civilians died, with 55 injured in the Armenian shelling. Azerbaijan has not confirmed any casualties among its armed forces.

On Sunday, battles broke out between Azerbaijan and the Armenian ethnic powers in Nagorno-Karabakh. 

The enclave is not globally acknowledged as autonomous and has been the focus of controversy since the fall of the Soviet Union.

The violence is more intense than ever since the 1990s war in which 30,000 people died. In addition, fears about security are on the rise in the South Caucasus region. 

Welcoming the joint declaration by Russia, France, and the United States on Thursday, Armenia’s foreign ministry said the government would “commit by constructive means to settling the dispute.”

We will continue to fervently repel the provocation of Azerbaijan, but are also ready to negotiate with the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group on a ceasefire focused on the 1994-1995 agreements, “it added, referring to an earlier ceasefire.”

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan stated Thursday a permanent ceasefire could only be accomplished if “Armenian occupiers” leave Nagorno-Karabakh. Aliyev stated that the demands of Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh were unacceptable.

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