Armenia and Azerbaijan have agreed to establish a ceasefire in their conflict over disputed Nagorno-Karabakh starting from Sunday midnight (local time), according to the US State Department.
The decision was taken after Co-Chairs of the Orgsation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group (Igor Popov of Russia, Stephane Visconti of France, and Andrew Schofer of the United States of America) had a meeting with Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan and Azerbaij Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen E Biegum also attended the meeting.
"The humtarian ceasefire will take effect at 08:00 am local time (12:00 am EDT) on October 26, 2020," the statement by the State Department read.
The US facilitated "intensive negotiations" among the foreign ministers of the two warring countries and the Minsk Group Co-Chairs to move Armenia and Azerbaijan closer to a peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the department said.
In a statement, OSCE Minsk group said that the Co-Chairs and Armenian and Azerbaij Foreign Ministers agreed to meet again in Geneva on October 29 to discuss, reach an agreement on, and begin implementation, in accordance with a timeline to be agreed upon, of all steps necessary to achieve a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in accordance with the basic principles accepted the leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia.
The fighting on the line of contact in Nagorno-Karabakh started on September 27. The sides have accused each other of starting the firing. The international community strongly condemned the escalation and called on parties to settle the differences via dialogue, while Turkey has pledged its full support for Azerbaijan.
Yerevan and Baku have signed two ceasefire agreements, but both of them collapsed soon after entering into force. Within the past several days, the Azerbaij troops managed to make significant achievements on the southern flank.
( With inputs from ANI )
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