The ceasefire talks mark the beginning of a concerted drive by the three powers to halt fighting that flared on September 27.
Azerbaijan and ethnic Armenians fought new clashes on Thursday earlier than talks at which the United States, France and Russia will talk about methods to safe a ceasefire and avert a wider struggle within the South Caucasus.
Azeri Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov will meet U.S., Russian and French envoys in Geneva on Thursday and Armenia’s Foreign Minister, Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, is anticipated to satisfy officers from the three nations in Moscow on Monday.
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The talks mark the beginning of a concerted drive by the three powers to halt fighting that flared on September 27, growing considerations concerning the safety of pipelines in Azerbaijan that carry pure gasoline and oil to Europe.
Washington, Paris and Moscow are co-chairs of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s (OSCE) Minsk Group that has led mediation in many years of battle over the mountain enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Under worldwide legislation, Nagorno-Karabakh belongs to Azerbaijan however it’s populated and ruled by ethnic Armenians, who broke away in a 1991-94 struggle that killed about 30,000.
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“The position of the United States has been clear and has not changed: both sides must cease hostilities immediately and work with the Minsk Group Co-Chairs to return to substantive negotiations as soon as possible,” a U.S. spokesman in Geneva mentioned.
Hours earlier than the talks had been resulting from begin, Azerbaijan mentioned the town of Ganja, deep inside the previous Soviet republic, had been shelled by Armenian forces.
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One civilian had been killed in Azerbaijan’s Goranboy area and different villages and cities had been fired on by ethnic Armenian forces, it mentioned.
Azeri authorities say 30 civilians have been killed and 143 injured since September 27 however haven’t disclosed details about army casualties.
Nagorno-Karabakh mentioned its most important administrative centre, Stepanakert, had been shelled and that 30 servicemen had been killed, taking its army dying toll to 350 since September 27. It says 19 civilians have additionally been killed and many wounded.
Following the most recent studies of fighting, Armenia mentioned it had dismissed the pinnacle of its National Security Service in a presidential decree. It gave no purpose.
Fears of a wider struggle
The fighting has raised worldwide concern that Turkey, an in depth ally of Azerbaijan, and Russia, which has a defence pact with Armenia, could possibly be sucked into the battle.
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The warring sides have ignored repeated ceasefire calls and the Azeri and Armenian leaders have been at odds over their circumstances for halting fighting.
Azeri President Ilham Aliyev’s most important demand is for Armenia to set a timetable for a withdrawal from Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding Azeri territories, and desires Turkey concerned in peacemaking.
He advised Euronews in an interview that Bayramov’s attendance on the Geneva talks “shows who wants negotiations.”
Azerbaijan’s international ministry dismissed requires a unilateral ceasefire which it mentioned “maintain the status quo based on occupation.”
Armenia has dominated out a withdrawal from territory it considers historic homelands. It has additionally accused Turkey of army involvement within the battle and says it has despatched in mercenaries, allegations denied by Ankara.
“Our position has been and remains that the Karabakh issue cannot be solved through violence,” Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan advised Euronews.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, who has accused the Minsk Group of neglecting the disaster for many years, mentioned in feedback printed on Thursday that Ankara would proceed to help “our Azerbaijani brothers with all our resources.”
“I renew my call for the international community to … take steps to end Armenia’s occupation of Azeri lands,” he advised Qatar’s The Peninsula newspaper.