Baku ready for talks over Nagorno-Karabakh
Azerbaijani representatives are ready to go to Moscow for talks on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said on Monday.
“We are ready to meet both in Moscow and elsewhere to end and find ways to resolve the conflict,” Aliyev said in an interview with the Russian news agency Tass.
He added that the fighting would only stop after Armenia recognizes the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and leaves the territories occupied by the Armenian armed forces early 1990s. At that time, the sides entered a full-fledged war over the mountainous enclave.
Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent territories, located inside Azerbaijan under the international law, have been under the control of the enclave's ethnic Armenians since then.
“I proposed a timetable for the withdrawal of (Armenian) troops from the occupied territories… However we have not heard the Armenian side is ready to withdraw its troops from the occupied territories,” Aliyev was quoted as saying.
Aliyev's statement came days after the country's second largest city, Ganja, came under shelling leaving 14 civilians dead and 52 injured.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan also told Tass in a separate interview that he is ready for talks, however added the solution of the conflict should be based on compromise.
Fire was still being exchanged between the Armenian and Azerbaijani armed forces on Tuesday despite the renewed ceasefire agreed over the weekend. This was the second ceasefire that had failed to have any effect.
On Tuesday, President Aliyev announced that a third city, Zengilan, was under the control of Azerbaijani forces.
Since 27 September, 61 civilians have been killed and 282 wounded according to figures from the Azerbaijani side. Baku has not disclosed the military casualties.
Nagorno-Karabakh said on Monday 729 of its troops and 37 civilians had been killed in the clashes.
The region of Nagorno-Karabakh, internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, was declared independent by ethnic Armenians living there as the Soviet Union collapsed. An estimated 30,000 were killed when the conflict turned into a full-fledged war,. A ceasefire signed in 1994 under the auspices of Moscow put a fragile end to a large-scale conflict. Peace talks mediated by France, US and Russia were unsuccessful and since then, conflict is volatile, with flare-ups sporadically occurring.
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