Moscow, Oct 1 (efe-epa).- The presidents of Russia, the United States and France on Thursday called for an “immediate” ceasefire in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh between Azerbaijan and Armenia, where heavy clashes have been raging for five days.
In a statement issued by the Russian presidency, Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron condemned the recent escalation of violence “in the strongest terms.”
“We deplore the loss of human lives and extend our condolences to the families of those killed and injured,” the statement said.
“We call on the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan to resume negotiations on settlement in good faith and without preconditions.”
Fighting erupted in Nagorno-Karabakh on Sunday. The territory is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan but has been administered by Yerevan-backed Armenian separatists since a peace deal that put an end to a bitter war following the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Information from the region is tightly controlled by the warring factions but there have reportedly been more than 100 deaths since clashes began, including civilian casualties on both sides.
Two French journalists were injured on Thursday morning.
Arriving at a European Council summit in Brussels, Macron, who said the attacks coming from Azerbaijan “had no justification”, warned of the presence of Syrian mercenaries in the region.
“I want to be very clear, we were provided credible information today that indicates that Syrian jihadist fighters have left their warzone, passing through Gaziantep (a Turkish city near the Syrian border) to rejoin the theater of war in Karabakh,” he said.
Baku has strongly denied that it was using Syrian mercenaries to bolster its forces.