Armenia and Azerbaijan are approaching a ceasefire, France says

Armenia a Azerbaijan A ceasefire is approaching that would stop fighting in Nagorno – Karabakh, but an agreement is expected on Friday evening or Saturday, French administration president Emanuel Macron said in a statement.

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“We are approaching a ceasefire tonight or tomorrow, but it is still very fragile,” the statement said. Makron spoke with the Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan on Thursday evening, and on Friday with the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev.

The talks are part of a “coordinated process” with Russian President Vladimir Putin since the beginning of the week. An agreement on the resumption of peace talks could be reached in the coming days within the OSCE Minsk Group. In France, Russia and the United States co – chair this group.

Putin has invited the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan to talks in Moscow on Friday. At least 300 people, including 48 civilians, have died in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict since the resumption of intense fighting on 27 September. The Azerbaijani armed forces have been firing rockets at Stepanakert, the capital of Nagorno-Karabakh, for several days. Azerbaijani forces are reportedly being assisted by Turkish armed forces officers and Turkish-organized Syrian militants.

There have been hostile relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia since the 1990s, when there was a war over Nagorno-Karabakh, a predominantly Armenian population. Nagorno-Karabakh, which was part of the Azerbaijani SSR during the Soviet era, has been a “de facto” independent Armenian republic since the early 1990s. Although Azerbaijan has not controlled Nagorno-Karabakh since the collapse of the USSR, it considers the Armenian region to be its territory. Nagorno-Karabakh is also considered by the international community to be part of Azerbaijan, and no country has recognized the region as an independent state.

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Nagorno-Karabakh declared independence in 1991. Its secession from Azerbaijan contributed to the outbreak of war between Azerbaijan and Armenia. About 35,000 people lost their lives in the war, and more than a million people in both countries were forced to flee their homes.

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