MOSCOW, October 17. /TASS/. Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry confirmed on Saturday the agreement on a humanitarian ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh coming into effect at 00.00 local time on Sunday, October 18, according to a statement published on the foreign ministry’s site.
"The Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Armenia have agreed to a humanitarian truce as of October 18th, 00h00 local time," Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry said.
"This decision was taken following the statement of the Presidents of the French Republic, the Russian Federation and the United States of America, representing the co-chair countries of the OSCE Minsk Group of 1 October 2020, the Statement by the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group of 5 October, and in line with Moscow Statement of 10 October 2020," the statement reads.
Earlier on Saturday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov held talks with his counterparts from Armenia and Azerbaijan by phone.
At the talks, brokered by Russia and held in Moscow on October 9, Azerbaijan and Armenia agreed to a ceasefire. It came into effect at 12.00 local time on Saturday, October 10 for humanitarian reasons, for the exchange of detainees and recovery of war dead. Nevertheless, both sides traded blame for violations.
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.
The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the highland region of Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed territory that had been part of Azerbaijan before the Soviet Union break-up, but primarily populated by ethnic Armenians, broke out in February 1988 after the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region announced its withdrawal from the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1992-1994, tensions boiled over and exploded into large-scale military action for control over the enclave and seven adjacent territories after Azerbaijan lost control of them. Talks on the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement have been ongoing since 1992 under the OSCE Minsk Group, led by its three co-chairs - Russia, France and the United States.