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Lavrov says Turkey backed agreements on Nagorno-Karabakh reached in Moscow

The top diplomat stated that the format of negotiations would remain unchanged
A missile fragment of a BM-30 Smerch rocket by the Mingachevir Hydro Power Station Valery Sharifulin/TASS
A missile fragment of a BM-30 Smerch rocket by the Mingachevir Hydro Power Station
© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, October 12. /TASS/. Turkey has supported the agreements on the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement reached at the trilateral consultations in Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters at a news conference on Monday.

"Responding to the question about contacts with our Turkish colleagues, I got in touch with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and informed him that we count on support for our efforts. On Sunday, we had another telephone conversation, during which support for the Moscow document was confirmed," he said.

When asked about the possibility of considering some new formats of settlement talks, Lavrov recalled that the joint statement made by the Russian, Azerbaijani and Armenian foreign ministers "confirmed that the formats of the negotiation process of the OSCE Minsk Group remained unchanged."

"This is a fairly large group of countries, but it has delegated the powers to conduct negotiations and the powers of mediation to three co-chairs - Russia, the United States and France. As a matter of fact, those statements that were heard from world capitals over the past few days emphasized the commitment to the mandate of the three co-chairs <...> whose special representatives are in Moscow," Lavrov stressed.

He added that Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan would have a meeting with the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs later in the day. Last Thursday, the co-chairs met in Geneva with Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov. Lavrov stressed that the agreements reached in Moscow were also welcomed by Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev.

Renewed clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia erupted on September 27, with intense battles raging in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The area experienced flare-ups of violence in the summer of 2014, in April 2016 and this past July. Azerbaijan and Armenia have imposed martial law and launched mobilization efforts. Both parties to the conflict have reported casualties, among them civilians.

At the talks held at Russia’s initiative in Moscow, Baku and Yerevan agreed on a humanitarian ceasefire, which came into effect at 11:00 Moscow time on October 10 in order to exchange detainees and the bodies of those killed in the fighting. However, both sides accuse each other of failure to abide by the agreement.