Nagorno-Karabakh conflict: US mediation made another ceasfire possible

Armenia and Azerbaijan have agreed to a third ceasefire in a month on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, mediated by the United States.

According to the US State Department, the agreement was reached after lengthy negotiations and the ceasefire will begin on Monday morning.

Two more such ceasefire agreements were signed this month but were later violated by both countries.

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan began on September 27 in the disputed mountainous region of Nagorno-Karabakh but has intensified in recent days.

Ceasefire announcement

In a joint statement issued by the United States on Sunday, the governments of Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed that the “humanitarian ceasefire” would take effect at 8:00 a.m. local time on Monday.

The announcement came after consultations between US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun, Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan and his Azerbaijani counterpart Jeyhun Bairamov. On Friday, the foreign ministers of the two countries met with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington. US President Donald Trump recently congratulated all parties in a tweet.

Mediators from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) will discuss tensions in the region at a meeting on Thursday.

Earlier, two Russian-brokered ceasefires failed.

Read more: Armenia and Azerbaijan agree on temporary ceasefire

Nagorno-Karabakh is an area that is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan but has a majority of Armenians. Hundreds of people have been killed in the fighting so far.

Tensions that began in the area soon escalated into large-scale tensions that engulfed towns and cities. Shelling was also carried out and allegedly banned cluster ammunition was used.

Damages in conflict

So far, several thousand people have been killed in the fighting, and shelling has killed civilians on both sides, while thousands have been forced to flee their homes.

The current fighting is the biggest in decades and both sides have blamed each other.

Azerbaijan and Armenia fought in the region from 1988 to 1994 and eventually declared a ceasefire, but no formal agreement was reached.

There are fears that a large number of soldiers and civilians on both sides have been killed, but figures have not been independently verified.

Last Monday, the Armenian army added 19 more soldiers to its death list. At the same time, the number of Armenian soldiers killed in the war has risen to 729.

According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, about 5,000 people have been killed so far in recent clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

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