Azerbaijan and Armenia agree on ceasefire

Following ten-hour talks in Moscow, Azerbaijan and Armenia agreed on a ceasefire in Karabakh from noon on on 10 October for humanitarian purposes for the exchange of prisoners, as well as the bodies of the dead. After talks between the Foreign Ministers of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia Sergei Lavrov, Jeyhun Bayramov and Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, contrary to expectations, only Lavrov came out to the press briefing.

He read out a joint statement following the consultations in Moscow.

“A ceasefire is announced from 12:00 on 10 October 2020 for humanitarian purposes of the exchanging of prisoners of war and other detainees and bodies of the dead, mediated and in accordance with the criteria of the International Committee of the Red Cross,” the statement said.

“Specific parameters of the ceasefire will be agreed upon additionally,” he also said.

In addition, Azerbaijan and Armenia agreed, through the mediation of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs, to start substantive negotiations with the aim of achieving a peaceful settlement of the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh as soon as possible. “The Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Armenia, with the mediation of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs, on the basis of the basic principles of the settlement, begin substantive negotiations with the aim of reaching a peaceful settlement as soon as possible,” the document says.

“The parties confirm the invariability of the format of the negotiation process,” the fourth paragraph of the statement underlines.

Foreign Ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia Jeyhun Bayramov and Zohrab Mnatsakanyan arrived in Moscow on October 9 for consultations on Nagorno-Karabakh at the invitation of the Russian President.

The talks between the Foreign Ministers of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan on the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh were held behind closed doors. Before the meeting, the parties refrained from making statements.

The negotiations lasted over 10 hours.

The region of Nagorno-Karabakh, internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, was declared independent by ethnic Armenians living there as the Soviet Union collapsed. An estimated 30,000 were killed when the conflict turned into a full-fledged war,. A ceasefire signed in 1994 under the auspices of Moscow put a fragile end to a large-scale conflict. Peace talks mediated by France, US and Russia were unsuccessful and since then, conflict is volatile, with flare-ups sporadically occurring.

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