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Azerbaijani soldiers help Armenian civilians evacuate

Azerbaijani soldiers help Armenian civilians evacuate
Social media footage shows Armenian settlers thanking Azerbaijani soldiers for help

By Ruslan Rehimov

BAKU, Azerbaijan (AA) - Azerbaijani soldiers helped Armenians illegally resettled in occupied areas leave the region, as seen in footage Tuesday on social media.

Armenians unable to leave their homes in the village of Abdal Gulabli in Aghdam province, asked for help from Azerbaijani soldiers.

One Azerbaijani commander told Armenian civilians he encountered: "You can stay here as an Azerbaijani citizen if you want. If you want, you can go. No one will treat you badly. We've helped you before. We respectfully saw you off."

Armenians confirmed what the commander said and thanked him.

The footage shows soldiers helping Armenians carry their belongings to a pickup truck.

According to an agreement that ended conflicts in Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenians and soldiers located on Azerbaijani territory will continue to leave the region.

But Armenians who had to leave the occupied territories burned houses, public buildings and forests before leaving the area.

Despite the destruction, Azerbaijani soldiers have helped Armenians who could not leave Azerbaijani territory.

Relations between the former Soviet republics of Azerbaijan and Armenia have been tense since 1991 when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Upper Karabakh, a territory recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.

When new clashes erupted Sept. 27, the Armenian army launched attacks on civilians and Azerbaijani forces and violated humanitarian cease-fire agreements.

During the 44-day conflict, Azerbaijan liberated several cities and nearly 300 settlements and villages from the Armenian occupation.

On Nov. 10, the two countries signed a Russia-brokered agreement to end fighting and work toward a comprehensive resolution.

The truce is seen as a victory for Azerbaijan and a defeat for Armenia, whose armed forces have been withdrawing as the agreement specified.

*Writing by Merve Berker

source: News Feed
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