Armenian PM Pashinyan Backs Possible Introduction of Russian Peacekeepers in Karabakh

Cheryl Sanders
October 24, 2020

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday held separate talks with his Armenian and Azeri counterparts to try to bring an end to the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said on Wednesday he could see no diplomatic resolution of the long-running conflict at this stage.

For his part, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has said Armenian forces must withdraw from Nagorno-Karabakh to end the fighting, which Russian President Vladimir said may have killed about 5,000 people since the violence erupted.

"We are committed to finding a political solution (to) the conflict and ready to resume substantive talks immediately", Bayramov said in a statement after the talks.

The violence has raised fears of a wider war drawing in Turkey and Russian Federation, which has a defence pact with Armenia, and increased concern about the security of pipelines in Azerbaijan that carry Azeri gas and oil to world markets.

"With full support from Turkey, Azerbaijan has attacked population centers, killing and wounding hundreds of civilians and driving more than half of Nagorno-Karabakh's population from their homes", the senators said.

Pompeo said he hoped a diplomatic solution could be found.

Since Oct. 10, Armenia has violated two humanitarian cease-fires in Upper Karabakh, or Nagorno-Karabakh, an internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan.

Turkish Vice-President Fuat Oktay, on his part, has publicly considered a possible military intervention by his country to safeguard the rights of Azerbaijan.

Azeri forces, bolstered in recent years by increased military spending and the purchase of weapons from close ally Turkey, say they have made territorial gains in the latest fighting.

"NATO is deeply concerned by ongoing violations of the cease-fire, which have caused tragic loss of life", said Stoltenberg, adding that ending hostilities and sufferings is important for both the alliance and worldwide security.

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group - co-chaired by France, Russia, and the United States - was formed in 1992 to find a peaceful solution to the conflict, but to no avail.

But Azerbaijan says mediation has achieved nothing in three decades and wants Turkey involved in peacemaking.

Turkey said it would not hesitate to send soldiers and provide military support for Azerbaijan if such a request were made by Baku.

He also criticised the OSCE's Minsk group of trying to keep the issue unresolved and supporting Armenia, both politically and militarily.

Two Russia-brokered cease-fires collapsed instantly after taking effect, and the warring parties have continued to exchange blows with heavy artillery, rockets and drones.

A new round of hostilities began in Nagorno-Karabakh on 27 September, with Baku and Yerevan accusing each other of carrying out provocations. The two sides traded accusations involving the shelling of residential areas, and authorities in Nagorno-Karabakh said the town of Martakert and several villages in the Martuni region were struck by Azerbaijani rockets. Azerbaijan hasn't disclosed its military losses, but says 63 civilians have been killed and 292 have been wounded.

Other reports by iNewsToday