North Atlantic Treaty Organisation is not part of conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh: Stoltenberg

Remigio Civitarese
Ottobre 24, 2020

But Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said Wednesday he sees no possibility of a diplomatic solution at this stage of the conflict.

Commenting on Turkey's clamouring for a bigger mediation role in the conflict, Peskov said that such mediation must be accepted by both warring parties.

Heavy fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh continued Thursday with Armenia and Azerbaijan trading blame for new attacks, hostilities that raised the threat of Turkey and Russian Federation being drawn into the conflict.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has said that to end hostilities Armenian forces must withdraw from Nagorno-Karabakh. According to Minister Mnatsakanyan, Azerbaijan's decision to become a zone of influence of Turkey and worldwide terrorism - is a serious threat to regional security.

Pompeo said on Wednesday he still hoped a diplomatic solution could be found as the United States, France and Russian Federation press on with mediation efforts they have led for decades.

"Our view remains, as does the view of almost every European country, that the right path forward is to cease the conflict, tell them to de-escalate, that every country should stay out, provide no fuel for this conflict, no weapons systems, no support", he said.

The Armenian prime minister accused Turkey of encouraging Azerbaijan's attack on Nagorno-Karabakh and blocking any attempt at a cease-fire.

Azeri forces, bolstered by weapons bought from Turkey, say they have made territorial gains in the latest fighting, including full control over the border with Iran, though Nagorno-Karabakh says its forces have repeatedly repulsed attacks.

Reiterating Azerbaijan's main condition for ending the fighting, Aliyev demanded promises that his country will be handed back control of Nagorno-Karabakh, which broke away as the Soviet Union collapsed.

Armenian President Armen Sarkissian stressed that Azerbaijan will continue to violate the ceasefire as long as he is confident of Turkey's support.

"We are deeply concerned with the violations of the ceasefire agreement that lead to new casualties", NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told a news conference after the meeting.

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

"There has not been such a request from our Azeri brothers yet, but we have said we will support them in any way they wish", Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay told CNN Turk.

The decadeslong conflict between the two former Soviet republics over the disputed region flared up again on September 27 and has already killed about 1,000 people.

Pompeo shook hands and exchanged pleasantries but made no substantive remarks in separate meetings an hour apart at the State Department with Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov and Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan.

Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry, meanwhile, reported fighting in territories close to the line of contact that divides the sides.

According to Nagorno-Karabakh officials, 927 of their troops have been killed and more than 30 civilians also have died. Azerbaijan hasn't disclosed its military losses, but says 63 civilians have been killed and 292 have been wounded.

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