Azerbaijan says Armenia ’blatantly violating’ Karabakh ceasefire

Azerbaijan says Armenia ’blatantly violating’ Karabakh ceasefire

Azerbaijan says Armenia ’blatantly violating’ Karabakh ceasefire

Azerbaijan on Oct. 10 accused Armenia of violating a Russian-mediated ceasefire to end fierce fighting over the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region, shortly after it had been due to take effect.

"Armenia is blatantly violating the ceasefire regime," the Azerbaijani defense ministry said, saying there had been attacks in two directions on the frontline.

“Despite the agreement to declare a ceasefire at 12 pm [local time], the Armenian army attempted to attack in the Aghdere-Terter and Fizuli-Jabrayil directions,” the ministry said in a statement.

“At the same time, a number of our human settlements are under artillery fire from the armed forces of Armenia.”

It said the Azerbaijani military had “successfully suppressed” all attempted attacks.

“Adequate retaliatory measures are being taken against the Armenian army,” the Defense Ministry asserted.

The ministry shared video footage on its website showing Armenian armored vehicles being destroyed by Azerbaijani forces.

A separate statement said the Armenian army was also shelling Azerbaijan’s Agdam and Tartar regions.

A ceasefire agreed by Armenia and Azerbaijan was planned to come into effect on Oct. 10 at noon local time (0800 GMT) to end nearly two weeks of heavy fighting over the occupied Upper Karabakh region.

A trilateral meeting on Oct. 9 between Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia took place in Moscow with Lavrov, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov and Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan.

Fighting began Sept. 27, when Armenian forces targeted civilian Azerbaijani settlements and military positions in the region, leading to casualties.

Relations between the two former Soviet republics have been tense since 1991 when the Armenian military occupied Upper Karabakh, or Nagorno-Karabakh, an internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan.

Multiple U.N. resolutions, as well as international organizations, demand the withdrawal of the invading forces.

The OSCE Minsk Group - co-chaired by France, Russia, and the U.S. - was formed in 1992 to find a peaceful solution to the conflict, but to no avail. A cease-fire, however, was agreed to in 1994.

Many world powers, including Russia, France and the U.S., have urged an immediate cease-fire.

Turkey, meanwhile, has supported Baku's right to self-defense and demanded the withdrawal of Armenia's occupying forces.

Top Turkish, Azerbaijani diplomats talk over phone

Meanwhile, Turkey’s foreign minister and his Azerbaijani counterpart over the phone discussed a trilateral meeting among Russia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia on Saturday, according to Turkish diplomatic sources.

Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and Jeyhun Bayramov discussed the trilateral meeting said the sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

Çavuşoğlu conveyed Turkey's support to his counterpart on Azerbaijan’s decisions in the trilateral meeting.