Karabakh Conflict: New US-Brokered Ceasefire Broken, Sides Blame Each Other

Armenia and Azerbaijan on Monday accused each other of violating the new US-brokered ceasefire in fighting over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region. 

Prime Minister of Armenia, Nikol Pashinyan, stated that he had spoken with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and expressed doubts about the maintenance of the ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh.

"It is clear that once again it has become impossible to maintain the ceasefire. I do not know what the reaction of the Minsk Group will be, but the Armenian side did a lot to defend the truce, and the Defense Army was restrained. However, in the afternoon we can state that the truce could not be maintained", Pashinyan said.

Pashynian noted that Mike Pompeo had told him that his prediction was that the truce would be unlikely to last and that Azerbaijan would blame the Armenian side for it.

Later, he announced that Azerbaijan violated the new ceasefire brokered by the US.

"I would like to state that the efforts of the international community, this time brokered by the United States, to establish a ceasefire, have failed. As a result of continuous shelling by Azerbaijan, civilians were killed and wounded in Artsakh today," he tweeted on October 26. 

In turn, Azerbaijan once again accused the Armenian side of violating the agreement. 

"Though Azerbaijan agreed to a fresh humanitarian cease-fire to exchange prisoners and bodies, Armenian forces broke the truce only minutes after it was supposed to take effect, the Azerbaijani leader said Monday, marking the third such truce broken by Armenia in less than a month," Anadolu Agency, a state-run news agency headquartered in Ankara, reported yesterday. 

"To Armenia’s supporters, Aliyev said, "If you want to save the Armenian state, tell them to leave our lands,” referring to Upper Karabakh (Nagorno-Karabakh)," the Agency said. 

Armenia and Azerbaijan had agreed to a new US-brokered ceasefire in the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. On Sunday, a joint statement released by the US, Armenian and Azerbaijani governments said the "humanitarian ceasefire" would begin at 08:00 local time (04:00 GMT) on Monday.

However, the new truce, just like the two previous ceasefires agreed earlier this month, brokered by Russia, was broken almost immediately.

By Ana Dumbadze 

Image: EPA

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27 October 2020 13:40