Pompeo, Lavrov, Le Drian call for immediate ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh - blog - Oct. 5

The Sectretary of State of the United States and the foreign ministers of France and Russia issued a joint statement on Monday, calling for an immediate ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh.

As the co-chair countries of the OSCE Minsk Group, all three nations “condemn in the strongest terms the unprecedented and dangerous escalation of violence in and outside of the Nagorno-Karabakh zone,’’ the statement published by the U.S. Department of State said.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of France Jean-Yves Le Drian, and Secretary of State of the United States of America Michael R. Pompeo urged the sides in the conflict “to commit now to resuming the settlement process on the basis of existing core principles and relevant international documents well-known by both parties.’’

Satellite map of Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenia and Azerbaijan, locating bombings by both sides in recent days, as of October 4. (AFP)
Satellite map of Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenia and Azerbaijan, locating bombings by both sides in recent days, as of October 4. (AFP)

(All times local Turkish time, GMT+3)


21: 23 - Canada suspends export of weapon technologies to Turkey over unlicensed usage 

Canadian Foreign Minister, François-Philippe Champagne, said the due to the ongoing hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh, he has suspended its relevant export permits to Turkey, so as to allow time to further assess the situation.

“Over the last several days, certain allegations have been made regarding Canadian technology being used in the military conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh," he said.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Friday that Canada was in the process of assessing the truth behind allegations that Azeri forces have been using Canadian weapons technologies originally exported to Turkey in their ongoing conflict with Armenia.

Champagne also said Canada continues to be concerned with the ongoing conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, which has resulted in the shelling of communities and civilian casualties.


21:05 - U.S. expresses deep concern over the escalation of military action in the Nagorno-Karabakh 

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen E. Biegun spoke separately today with Azeri Foreign Minister Jehun Bayramov and Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan to express deep concern over reports of the escalation of military action and expanding theater of operations in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, U.S.  State Department said in a statement.

According to the statement:

Biegun urged the sides to agree to a ceasefire immediately and resume negotiations under the auspices of the Minsk Group Co-Chairs to find a durable resolution to the conflict.  The Deputy Secretary stressed to the Foreign Ministers that there is no military solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.


20:32 - Armenia committing war crimes against Azeri civilians - Turkish defence minister

Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar has accused Armenia of committing war crimes in attacks targeting Azerbaijani civilians.

“Armenian authorities, openly targeting innocent civilians, will surely be judged in humanity's, their own people's conscience,” Sözcü newspaper cited Akar as saying on Monday during a videoconference with commanders-in-chief of the Turkish Armed Forces.

Akar called on Yerevan to “withdraw its forces from occupied territories, end cooperation with terrorists and remove mercenaries from the region.’’

“Those who have remained silent during Armenia’s 30-year occupation should see this side of the country,’’ Akar said, calling for third parties to exert efforts to facilitate the return of Nagorno-Karabakh to Azerbaijan.


 17:35 - Turkey’s UAVs have helped decrease casualties in conflict zone – Aliyev

Turkey's advanced armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) have helped drop the number of casualties in the conflict zone, Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev said on Monday, while calling for Turkey’s participation in the solution for the conflict over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

“Turkey, with its strong position in the international community, should participate in the solution process in [upper] Karabakh,” state-run Anadolu news agency cited Aliyev as saying.

Aliyev also accused Armenia of trying to pull Russia into the war by attacking the Azerbaijani territories.

“Armenians are living in Azerbaijan. We have no problem with the Armenian people. The Armenian people are the hostages of their own power,” he added.


12:55 - Armenian forces bombarding cities in Azerbaijan - Azeri presidential aide

Armenian forces are striking major population centres with missiles and rockets, Azeri presidential aide Hikmet Hajiyev said on Monday.

“Armenian armed forces are attacking densely populated civilian areas in Ganja, Barda, Beylagan and some other cities of Azerbaijan. Barbarism and vandalism,” he said on Twitter.

Hajiyev described the attacks as a “sign of weakness and panic of Armenia's political-military leadership”.

Yerevan must be held responsible for pursuing to kill civilians, the aide said in a separate Twitter post.


12:15 - NATO expects Turkey to help end Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict

NATO called on Turkey to find alternative solutions to end the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, expressing “deep concern” by the escalation of violence over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

“All sides should immediately cease fighting. And find a way forward towards a peaceful resolution,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu at a joint press conference in Ankara. “And I expect Turkey to use its considerable influence to calm tensions.”

Turkey has thrown its firm support behind Azerbaijan, saying it is ready to do whatever is necessary to eject Armenian forces from Nagorno-Karabakh, a mountainous region at the heart of an ongoing territorial dispute. The fighting has threatened to expand beyond the breakaway state, which is located within Azerbaijan’s borders but controlled by ethnic Armenians.

12:30 - Azerbaijan making significant gains in southern Karabakh - Turkey

Azeri forces are gaining ground in southern Karabakh, the Turkish Defence Ministry reported, citing “reliable” Azeri sources.

Karahanbeyli, lower Seyitahmetli, Mehdili, lower Maralyan, Kuycak, Kend Horadiz, Chakirli and Jabrayil province have been “liberated”, the ministry said.


11:50 - Stepanakert bombed for second day - security analyst

The capital of the breakaway state of Nagorno-Karabakh is being bombed for a second day, security analyst and journalist Neil Hauer reported on Monday.

“Stepanakert is now again being bombed from the air, hitting civilian buildings indiscriminately. Sixteen explosions in the last few minutes,” Hauer, a non-resident fellow at the Middle East Institute, said on Twitter, citing “trusted” sources on the ground.


11:30 - Armenia, Azerbaijan accuse each other of attacking civilian areas

Armenia and Azerbaijan accused each other on Monday of attacking densely populated areas, Reuters reported.

The Nagorno-Karabakh government said Azeri forces struck its capital Stepanakert with rocket fire.

“The enemy is firing rockets at Stepanakert and Shushi. The defence army response will not be long in coming,” the newswire cited Vahram Pogosyan, a spokesperson of Nagorno-Karabakh’s president, as saying.

The Azeri government said that Armenia had been launching missile attacks against populated centres and civilian infrastructure in Azerbaijan. The Defence Ministry said its radar system recorded that launches were made from undisputed Armenian territory.

Yerevan denied the report.

“It is fake and complete misinformation that Armenia opened fire on Azeri strongholds,” Reuters cited Armenian Defence Ministry official Artrsun Hovhannisyan as saying.


10:30 - Azerbaijan lost over 3,100 soldiers, 360 armoured vehicles by Sunday - Armenia

Azeri forces lost 3,154 military personnel and 368 armoured vehicles as of 1700 GMT on Sunday, an online Armenian government platform reported.

Armenian forces also destroyed 124 Azeri drones, 17 planes, 14 helicopters and four Smerch multiple rocket launchers, according to figures given by the Armenian Unified Infocenter.


10:00 - Russia ready to seek solution in Nagorno-Karabakh via OSCE: Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow was ready to help find a solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict through the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Reuters reported on Sunday.

Lavrov told his Armenian counterpart on Sunday that Russia was concerned about the rising death toll and called for an immediate ceasefire, the news agency cited the Russian Foreign Ministry as saying.


09:45 - Azerbaijan lays down conditions for Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire

Azeri President Ilham Aliyev outlined his government’s conditions for a ceasefire with Armenia over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, saying Armenia should set a timetable for withdrawal, state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

“Azerbaijan has one condition, and that is the liberation of its territories,” the agency cited Aliyev as saying in a televised national address on Sunday. “Nagorno-Karabakh is the territory of Azerbaijan. We must return and we shall return.”

The conflict, which started on Sept. 27, is the latest flare-up in an ongoing dispute over the mountainous enclave in the South Caucasus. The fighting has threatened to expand beyond the breakaway state, which is located within Azerbaijan’s borders but controlled by ethnic Armenians.

“My condition is the following: let them withdraw their troops, and the confrontation will be stopped, but this should not be in words, but in deeds,” Aliyev said.

The Azeri president said the international community has overlooked Armenia’s territorial violations in the latest round of clashes and had failed for three decades to enforce U.N. resolutions or put pressure on Armenia to return Azeri territories.

“If they didn't care then, they don't care now. Some countries slander us, some European countries accuse us,” Aliyev said. “Let them go and look in the mirror. "

France, Russia, and the United States co-chair the OSCE Minsk Group, which was set up in 1992 to mediate in the decades-old conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. On Thursday, the leaders of the three countries called on Armenia and Azerbaijan to stop the violence and return to negotiations to find a resolution.


16:50 - Far-right MHP leader condemns Armenia, calls for Nakhchivan to become part of Azerbaijan

It is necessary for the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, an Azerbaijani exclave bordering Armenia, to become part of Republic of Azerbaijan, the leader of Turkey’s far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Sunday.

Armenia’s rocket attack on Ganja, one of Azerbaijan’s largest towns, is a "denial and blatant violation of international law", Bahçeli said on Twitter.

One civilian has been killed and four wounded in an Armenian attack on Ganja on Sunday, according to Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry. Armenia denied the attack occurred.

Bahçeli condemned Armenia as a "killer, terror state" and said the latest developments in Nagorno-Karabakh called for "the inclusion of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic" in Azerbaijan.


16:00 - Armenia lodges request to ECHR for applying interim measure against Turkey

The Armenian government has applied to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) requesting an interim measure against Turkey for its intervention into Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Armenpress reported.

In a statement cited by the state news agency, Yerevan said: "Taking into account Turkey’s multifaceted support to the attacks of Azerbaijan on the civilian population and facilities of the Republic of Artsakh and the Republic of Armenia, which are accompanied by gross violations of international humanitarian law and the European Convention on Human Rights, as well as given Turkey’s constant participation to the military operations, Armenia on its own behalf and on behalf of the Republic of Artsakh has submitted a request to apply an interim measure, envisaged by Rule 39 of its Rules of Court, against Turkey."