European Union Calls on Armenia and Azerbaijan to Respect Ceasefire

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The EU is extremely concerned about information about ongoing fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh, Josep Borrell said. Baku accused Armenia of shelling Ganja. Shooting is also reported from Stepanakert. Brussels is concerned about non-observance of the ceasefire regime in the conflict zone in Nagorno-Karabakh. The EU notes “with extreme concern the reports of continued military hostilities, including against civilian targets, as well as civilian casualties,” EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said on Sunday, October 11. He called on the conflicting parties to strictly observe the ceasefire agreement, in addition, “to engage in substantive negotiations without delay under the auspices of the Minsk Group.” Earlier in the day, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in a telephone conversation with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, called on Yerevan and Baku to cease the clashes in Nagorno-Karabakh and resume negotiations. Cease-fire violation reports The humanitarian ceasefire regime in the conflict zone in Nagorno-Karabakh came into force from noon on October 10, however, on October 11, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov accused the Armenian side of violations. According to him, the Armenian armed forces “launched attacks in the direction of Hadrut and Dzhabrail”, in addition, the second largest Azerbaijani city of Ganja, “located outside the combat area”, was subject to rocket attack. As a result of the shelling, nine people were killed and 35 wounded, Interfax quotes Bayramov. In turn, the Karabakh information center reported about the rocket attack of Stepanakert by the Azerbaijani armed forces. Moscow agreements Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan Zohrab Mnatsakanyan and Jeyhun Bayramov agreed on a truce in the conflict zone in Nagorno-Karabakh following the results of more than 10 hours of talks in Moscow. The ceasefire was announced “for humanitarian purposes to exchange prisoners of war and other detained persons and bodies of the dead”, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said after the talks. The situation in Nagorno-Karabakh escalated sharply on September 27 after Azerbaijan launched a large-scale military operation to regain control of this region, inhabited mainly by ethnic Armenians. Both sides accuse each other of targeted shelling of civilian objects. Conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh In the early 1990s, as a result of the armed conflict with Armenia and the Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan lost control over this territory. The ceasefire between Armenia and the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and Azerbaijan was established in May 1994. Until now, the negotiation process aimed at finding ways to peacefully resolve the conflict was mediated by the OSCE Minsk Group, which includes Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Finland and Turkey. The co-chairs are Russia, France and the United States. Azerbaijan does not consider the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic a party to the conflict and refuses to negotiate with it.