Azerbaijan enters Agdam in line with Karabakh deal
Azerbaijan said on Nov. 20 its troops had entered a district bordering Nagorno-Karabakh handed back by Armenian separatists after almost 30 years as part of a Russian-brokered peace deal to end weeks of brutal fighting in the region.
Troops moved into the district of Aghdam, one of three due to be handed back, the Azerbaijan defence ministry said, a day after columns of Armenian soldiers and tanks rolled out of the territory.
Armenia will also hand over the Kalbajar district wedged between Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia on November 25 and the Lachin district by December 1.
Armenian defense minister tenders resignation
Meanwhile, Armenian Defence Minister Davit Tonoyan has tendered his resignation, the Aravot daily reported on Nov. 20.
Tonoyan has held the position since May 2018.
The government of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has come under pressure to quit, with thousands of demonstrators demanding he go following the signing of a ceasefire that secured territorial advances for Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh after six weeks of fighting.
Armenian forces occupied some 77% of the district in 1993, forcibly displacing nearly 200,000 Azerbaijanis from their homeland.
Relations between the former Soviet republics of Azerbaijan and Armenia have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Upper Karabakh, a territory recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.
New clashes erupted on Sept. 27 and the Armenian army continued its attacks on civilians and Azerbaijani forces, even violating humanitarian cease-fire agreements for 44 days.
Baku liberated several cities and nearly 300 settlements and villages from the Armenian occupation during this time.
On Nov. 10, the two countries signed a Russia-brokered agreement to end fighting and work toward a comprehensive resolution.