Baku, Sep 20 (EFE).- Azerbaijan on Wednesday confirmed it had agreed to a ceasefire with ethnic Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh a day after it launched a military operation in the breakaway region.
“Taking into account the appeal of representatives of Armenian residents in Karabakh, received through the Russian peacekeeping contingent, an agreement was reached to suspend local anti-terrorist measures on September, 20 at 1.00 pm (0900 GMT),” Azerbaijan’s defense ministry said in a statement.
It added that the Armenian separatists had agreed to “lay down their arms, leave combat positions and military posts and completely disarm.”
Furthermore, units of the Armenian armed forces are to leave Azerbaijan and illegal Armenian armed formations are to disband, while “all weapons and heavy equipment” be surrendered.
Russian peacekeepers deployed in Nagorno-Karabakh will guarantee the implementation of the process there.
Azerbaijan officials are to meet with Karabakh’s Armenian representatives for “reintegration” talks in the Azerbaijani town of Yevlakh on Thursday.
Yevlakh is about 100 kilometers from the Karabakh capital, Khankendi (known as Stepanakert to Armenians).
The ceasefire comes 24 hours after the Azerbaijani Army began bombing Nagorno-Karabakh in order to restore “constitutional order” in the territory populated by some 120,000 Armenians.
The enclave had little chance of resisting the new onslaught from Azerbaijan, which began the offensive three years after the last war for control of the enclave and after subjecting it to a blockade for nine months.
In December 2022, it blocked the Lachin corridor, the only road between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh.
In the 44-day war in 2020, Armenia lost two-thirds of the territory in the Karabakh region that it controlled after the 1992-1994 conflict, including part of the self-proclaimed republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, but not the capital.
According to Armenia, in Azerbaijan’s most recent military operation, at least 32 people have died in 24 hours, including seven civilians, while Baku has reported two civilian casualties. EFE