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Azerbaijan, Armenia agree on cease-fire starting Monday

Azerbaijan, Armenia agree on cease-fire starting Monday
Humanitarian ceasefire will take effect at 08:00 a.m. local time, announces US State Department

By Gozde Bayar

ANKARA (AA) - Azerbaijan and Armenia have agreed on a humanitarian cease-fire starting Monday morning, the US State Department announced on Sunday.

The humanitarian cease-fire will take effect at 08:00 a.m. local time (1600GMT) on Oct. 26, 2020, the US, Azerbaijan and Armenia said in a joint statement.

The statement said Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun met with Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan and Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov on Oct. 24.

Both countries reaffirmed their commitment to implement and abide by the humanitarian cease-fire agreed in Moscow on Oct. 10, it added.

“The United States facilitated intensive negotiations among the Foreign Ministers and the Minsk Group Co-Chairs to move Armenia and Azerbaijan closer to a peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” it said.

The OSCE Minsk Group refers to a trilateral organization co-chaired by France, the US and Russia that was formed in 1992 to find a peaceful solution to the conflict.

- Upper Karabakh conflict

Relations between the two former Soviet republics have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Upper Karabakh.

Four UN Security Council resolutions and two from the UN General Assembly, as well as international organizations, demand the "immediate complete and unconditional withdrawal of the occupying forces" from occupied Azerbaijani territory.

In total, about 20% of Azerbaijan's territory -- including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions -- has been under illegal Armenian occupation for nearly three decades.

Since recent clashes erupted on Sept. 27, Armenia has repeatedly attacked Azerbaijani civilians and forces, even violating two humanitarian cease-fires reached earlier this month.

source: News Feed
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