Talks on the future of Nagorno-Karabakh

2023-09-21 15:31:44, Kosova & Bota CNA

Talks on the future of Nagorno-Karabakh

Representatives of the Nagorno-Karabakh region and the government of Azerbaijan met on Thursday to discuss the future of the breakaway region. After a military offensive this week, Azerbaijan claims full control of the region.

Azerbaijan's State News Agency said the talks had ended, but gave no details on whether an agreement had been reached. Nagorno-Karabakh authorities and the news agency said earlier that talks between regional leaders and the government of Azerbaijan would focus on Nagorno-Karabakh's "reintegration" into Azerbaijan.

The talks in the Azerbaijani city of Yevlakh took place after local Armenian forces in Nagorno-Karabakh agreed to a ceasefire after two days of fighting this week.

Authorities in the ethnic Armenian region, which rules without international recognition, said on Wednesday that local self-defense forces would be disarmed and disbanded under a Russian-brokered ceasefire deal.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev trumpeted victory in a televised address to the nation, saying his country's military had restored its sovereignty in Nagorno-Karabakh.

On Tuesday, Azerbaijan's military attacked pro-Armenian forces with artillery and drones that have been weakened by a blockade of the region that is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan.

Nagorno-Karabakh human rights lawyer Gegham Stepanyan said at least 200 people, including 10 civilians, had been killed in recent fighting, while more than 400 others had been injured. But the figures could not be independently verified.

Azerbaijan's move to regain control of Nagorno-Karabakh has fueled fears of a resumption of full-scale war between the country and Armenia, which has been embroiled in a dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh since the end of a separatist war there in 1994.

At France's request, the UN Security Council will hold an emergency meeting on Thursday regarding Azerbaijan's offensive.

On Thursday, the Russian Interfax News Agency reported that Nagorno-Karabakh authorities had accused Azerbaijan of violating the ceasefire agreement, citing gun attacks in the disputed Stepanakert region.

The news agency of Azerbaijan announced that the Ministry of Defense of this country had rejected the claims of an attack, calling them "completely false"./ VOA

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