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Azerbaijan calls for ‘demilitarization’ of Nagorno-Karabakh

The presence of Armenian troops and “illegal armed groups” in “the territories of Azerbaijan” stays a risk, Baku has mentioned

The “demilitarization” of Nagorno-Karabakh stays an “absolute necessity,” the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry mentioned on Wednesday, as Baku carried out ‘Operation Revenge’ within the disputed area amid the newest spiral of pressure between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

 Baku has “repeatedly stated” that the continued presence of the Armenian troops and “illegal Armenian armed groups” within the “territories of Azerbaijan” stays a “source of danger,” the assertion mentioned, including that Azerbaijan considers the “complete withdrawal” of Armenian forces and disarmament of the native militias an absolute necessity. 

Nagorno-Karabakh is internationally acknowledged as part of Azerbaijan. Yet, the area has a principally Armenian inhabitants and has been de-facto ruled by the authorities of the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic – also referred to as the Republic of Artsakh – for the reason that 1990s, when the area first sought to interrupt away from Azerbaijan. The Armenian inhabitants of Nagorno-Karabakh and the native militias have since loved assist from Yerevan.

The assertion got here as Azerbaijan carried out a navy operation within the area, one which it claims was launched in response to a “gross” ceasefire violation by native militias that allegedly sought to ascertain new fight positions within the space. The alleged assault was repelled by the Azerbaijani forces that, in flip, seized some commanding heights within the area for themselves, the assertion added.

Tensions in Nagorno-Karabakh have been working excessive for the reason that starting of the week as each Baku and Yerevan accused one another of navy provocations, together with assaults and “intense” shelling. Armenian media retailers earlier reported that Baku had been planning an offensive on the so-called Lachin Corridor – a mountainous pathway connecting Armenia to the area. 

Armenian Security Council Secretary Armen Grigoryan additionally instructed the native media on Wednesday that Baku demanded Yerevan cease utilizing the Lachin Corridor altogether and select a unique route that would hyperlink it to Nagorno-Karabakh. Grigoryan blasted the calls for as violating a 2020 ceasefire accord the 2 sides agreed to following Russian mediation.

In 2020, the world witnessed the newest main flare-up of the simmering battle between the 2 neighbors as Yerevan and Baku fought a 44-day-long conflict, throughout which Azerbaijan managed to seize components of Nagorno-Karabakh. The battle finally ended with a ceasefire that noticed Russian peacekeepers deployed to the disputed area, together with the Lachin Corridor, however the scenario has remained tense ever since.

Both sides have repeatedly accused one another of frightening hostilities. Since Monday, each Baku and Yerevan have confirmed navy casualties within the wake of clashes within the area. The Russian peacekeeping middle additionally mentioned it recorded ceasefire violations, including that the Russian troops took measures to resolve the problems peacefully in cooperation with each the Armenian and the Azerbaijani sides.

On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin additionally mentioned the scenario with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. The two leaders particularly mentioned the implementation of the 2020 ceasefire deal, the Kremlin mentioned in an announcement. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov additionally mentioned the tensions round Nagorno-Karabakh with Azerbaijani prime diplomat Jeyhun Bayramov throughout his go to to Baku in June.

The area stays a sizzling challenge for each Armenia and Azerbaijan. June noticed large protests towards Pashinyan in Yerevan and his authorities’s stance on Nagorno-Karabakh – one of many main factors of competition on the time. Prior to the protests, opposition events wished parliament to undertake a declaration saying the area would by no means be a part of Azerbaijan. However, pro-Pashinyan lawmakers refused to attend the parliamentary session. 

On Wednesday, the EU urged each side to cease the hostilities and return to the talks. “It is essential to de-escalate, fully respect the ceasefire and return to the negotiating table to seek negotiated solutions,” it mentioned in an announcement.

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