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Search and rescue teams work on the blast site hit by a rocket during the fighting over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh in the city of Ganja, Azerbaijan October 11, 2020. - Sputnik International

Live Updates: Nagorno-Karabakh Calls for Establishment of Centre to Trace Int'l Terrorists in Region

In the early hours of Sunday, Azerbaijan’s Defence Ministry said that Ganja had been shelled from Armenian territory.

The spokeswoman for the Armenian Defence Ministry, Shushan Stepanyan, has refuted Baku’s claims that the city of Ganja in western Azerbaijan has been shelled from the territory of Armenia.

Yerevan and Baku agreed to cease hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh starting from noon on Saturday. The ceasefire was the result of extensive talks in the Russian capital, which lasted for more than 10 hours on Friday. Since the ceasefire came into force, however, both parties have accused each other of violating the truce.

The two countries engaged in military activities in Nagorno-Karabakh on 27 September, after Yerevan and Baku accused each other of violating a 1994 ceasefire.

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20:51 GMT 11.10.2020

YEREVAN (Sputnik) - The Armenian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Sunday that Turkey's provocative actions undermined stability in the region.

"We strongly condemn Turkey’s provocative policy in our region, and value the cooperation of all forces interested in the stability of the region," the statement read.

According to Yerevan, Turkey is the main driving force behind the Azerbaijani aggression in Nagorno-Karabakh.

"It’s obvious that Turkey, with participation of which the military aggression of Azerbaijan against Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) was preplanned and still continues, does not give up its stance of further destabilizing the situation and undermining the agreements reached," the Armenian Foreign Ministry said.

It added that Ankara was supplying the Azerbaijani army with foreign terrorists from the Middle East.

"Turkey has also been sponsoring Azerbaijan’s information and political campaign aimed at undermining the provisions of the agreement on the cessation of hostilities reached at the level of the Foreign Ministers of the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Russia Federation on October 10, 2020, at the initiative of the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin," the statement said.

20:48 GMT 11.10.2020

GANJA, Azerbaijan (Sputnik) - An emergency hospital of Azerbaijan's second-largest city of Ganja has admitted 20 people with injuries from a Sunday rocket attack, chief physician Gafar Ibragimov told Sputnik.

In the early hours of Sunday, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry claimed that an Armenian rocket had hit a residential area in Ganja. The Armenian military has refuted Baku’s statements. The shelling, which reportedly left seven dead and 34 others injured, took place amid the ceasefire, which the two sides to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict had earlier agreed in Moscow.

"We have treated 20 patients, two of them in severe condition. There are five children under three among the patients who are currently receiving psychological assistance and undergoing rehabilitation. The others have been discharged, they are under medical supervision," Ibragimov said.

The doctor added that a female traumatologist who worked for the hospital had been killed in the shelling.

"This employee had two sons who are now at the frontline [in the Karabakh conflict] ... And she was in a peaceful and quiet city ... unfortunately, we lost her," the chief physician said.

Journalists had an opportunity to see two hospitalized men who had been injured in the attack. One is a emergency worker in his 40s who lives in one of damaged residential buildings. According to doctors, the man fought in the Nagorno-Karabakh war in the 1990s. The patient slept during reporters’ visit.

Another patient received wounds to both legs as the rocket smashed windows in nearby houses. According to 20-year-old Isa Rzayev, he woke up at night to the noise of two powerful explosions. Neighbors helped him get out of the house. Isa said that he was demobilized in April.

20:31 GMT 11.10.2020

ANKARA (Sputnik) - Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and his Azerbaijani counterpart, Jeyhun Bairamov, held a telephone conversation on Sunday, during which the allies discussed alleged Armenian violations of the humanitarian ceasefire agreement in the self-proclaimed Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, a source in the Turkish Foreign Ministry told reporters.

"Our minister held phone talks with the head of the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry, Jeyhun Bairamov, and discussed the ceasefire violations by the Armenian side," the source said.

19:55 GMT 11.10.2020

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan arrived in Moscow on Sunday evening for follow-up talks on the Karabakh settlement, the country’s embassy confirmed to Sputnik.

On Monday, the minister is set to hold talks with top Russian diplomat Sergey Lavrov. According to the Russian ministry, the two will discuss a whole range of bilateral and international issues.

The Nagorno-Karabakh settlement and further steps to deescalate tensions in the region as a follow-up to the trilateral talks in Moscow would take center stage.

During his visit to Moscow, Mnatsakanyan will also meet with the co-chairs of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe's Minsk Group, the Armenian Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman Anna Naghdalyan told Sputnik.

19:24 GMT 11.10.2020
18:32 GMT 11.10.2020

German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a telephone conversation with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan welcomed the humanitarian ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh and called for substantive talks between Yerevan and Baku under the auspices of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the government's spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said on Sunday.

"The conversation focused on the Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, as well as the neighboring occupied regions. The chancellor welcomed the agreement on a humanitarian truce and stressed that all parties must comply with it," Seibert told reporters.

Merkel also told Pashinyan that hostilities in the region must be ceased immediately, and "substantive negotiations must begin within the OSCE Minsk Group," the German government spokesman added.

Clashes along the contact line of the disputed Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh erupted in late September. During the Friday talks in Moscow, foreign ministers of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia agreed to a ceasefire. Nonetheless, Baku and Yerevan have accused each other of violating the ceasefire over the weekend.

18:08 GMT 11.10.2020

The Nagorno-Karabakh settlement will take centre stage in Monday talks between top Russian diplomat Sergey Lavrov and his Armenian counterpart, Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

Mnatsakanyan will visit Russia from October 11-13. His talks with Lavrov are scheduled for October 12. It will be his second visit to Moscow in less than two days.

"The Nagorno-Karabakh settlement will become one of the key topics of the talks. As a follow-up to the agreements reached in Moscow on October 9-10, 2020 at the trilateral meeting of the foreign ministers of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia, the dialogue will continue on deescalating tensions in the conflict zone and creating conditions for the resumption of a substantive negotiation process, including under the mediation of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs," the ministry said.

Mnatsakanyan’s official visit will also be a "logical continuation of the rich Russian-Armenian political dialogue" aimed at building on close cooperation in political, trade, economic, humanitarian and other areas, according to the ministry.

The two diplomats will discuss a wide range of bilateral issues and cooperation within the Eurasian Economic Union, Collective Security Treaty Organization and the Commonwealth of Independent States, as well as coordination of positions in the UN, OSCE, the Council of Europe and other international forums.

The Russia-mediated ceasefire took effect in Nagorno-Karabakh at noon (8:00 GMT) on Saturday. Baku and Yerevan have since repeatedly accused each other of violating the truce.

17:41 GMT 11.10.2020

The ongoing fighting on the contact line of the self-proclaimed Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh does not allow the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to carry on with the humanitarian operations, Zara Amatuni, the ICRC spokeswoman in Yerevan, told Sputnik on Sunday.

During the Friday talks in Moscow, foreign ministers of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia agreed to cease hostilities in the disputed region starting Saturday noon. The ceasefire intended to allow both sides to exchange captured individuals and bodies of those killed. However, the parties accused each other of violating the truce over the weekend.

"Recent reports of ongoing hostilities make it impossible for humanitarian operations to be carried out with the ICRC as a humanitarian mediator. We are concerned about this. Even more worrisome is the continued hostilities that make people suffer," Amatuni said.

She added that the ceasefire must be observed for the entire period of the humanitarian operation.

16:45 GMT 11.10.2020
16:23 GMT 11.10.2020

BRUSSELS (Sputnik) - France, one of the co-chairs of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe's (OSCE) Minsk Group, is coordinating its efforts to resolve the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh with the European Union, French Minister of State for European Affairs Clement Beaune said on Sunday.

"We are coordinating our actions with the European Union within the framework of the Minsk Group. Our position is to call for an end to hostilities," Beaune said in an interview with Franceinfo radio station.

According to the diplomat, France maintains contacts both directly with the parties to the conflict — Armenia and Azerbaijan — and with countries that are indirectly involved in it, such as Turkey.

"We are having these contacts in coordination with Germany and other European countries," Beaune said.

The official noted that Paris welcomed the humanitarian ceasefire agreement between Yerevan and Baku, and continues to call on the parties to the conflict to not violate it.

"However judging by the events of last night, the ceasefire is not being respected. Therefore, we can only call on the parties to comply with it, to start negotiations without preconditions," Beaune said.

16:20 GMT 11.10.2020
15:48 GMT 11.10.2020
14:51 GMT 11.10.2020
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13:12 GMT 11.10.2020
12:16 GMT 11.10.2020

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Azerbaijan is not observing a ceasefire in the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh republic, and Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan will discuss the situation with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, on Monday, Armenian Ambassador to Russia Vardan Toganyan told Sputnik on Sunday.

"We will see. So far the ceasefire is not observed [by Azerbaijan], towns and settlements were subjected to artillery shelling, we recorded this fact, and our military today have already declared that Azerbaijan has not observed the ceasefire. We hope that Baku will still comply with what was achieved in Moscow on Friday," the ambassador said.

When asked if the ceasefire would be discussed during the Monday meeting between Mnatsakanyan and Lavrov, the diplomat said that foreign ministers already talked about the issue via a phone conversation, adding that the situation on the ground requires additional negotiations.

12:05 GMT 11.10.2020

"After two weeks of heavy fighting, the [self-proclaimed] Republic of Artsakh [Nagorno-Karabakh], the people of Artsakh have shown that they are invincible even in the fight against Azerbaijan, Turkey and the Islamist terrorist groups brought to the region. There is no other solution but to return to the negotiating table and conduct negotiations in the name of the future of Nagorno-Karabakh and the entire region," Armenian President Armen Sarkissian said, as quoted by the presidential press office.

11:45 GMT 11.10.2020
11:28 GMT 11.10.2020
11:24 GMT 11.10.2020

"Our minister [Cavusoglu] held a phone conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and asked him to warn the Armenian side about the observance of the ceasefire in Karabakh," the source said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry later confirmed the two diplomats had held the phone conversation.

The ministry said that Sergey Lavrov reaffirmed Russia’s readiness to continue mediation efforts between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

The diplomats also underlined the need for strict implementation of all provisions agreed upon between the two sides during the October 9-10 talks in Moscow.

11:19 GMT 11.10.2020

The assembly also called on the three countries to condemn Azerbaijan’s alleged use of terrorists in the hostilities.

10:47 GMT 11.10.2020
10:36 GMT 11.10.2020
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08:34 GMT 11.10.2020

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The joint Baku-Yerevan statement, adopted after the Friday talks between foreign ministers in Moscow, implies withdrawal of the Armenian forces from Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has said.

"But this [agreement], of course, implies an agreed withdrawal of the Armenian occupation forces from our territory. Since the statement contains a reference to substantive negotiations, which means - to the basic principles, where everything is clearly outlined, including when five [Azerbaijani] regions will be liberated, and when two more [will be liberated]," Aliyev told the Russian RBK broadcaster in an interview, published on Sunday.

The Azerbaijani president also said that Baku was ready to start negotiations with Yerevan as soon as possible.

"We are ready to start tomorrow, so everything depends on the activities of the OSCE Minsk Group, their work schedule. Our side is ready to start immediately," Aliyev said.

Aliyev has said that he is not ruling out the possibility of holding negotiations with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan amid the ongoing escalation in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.

"I do not exclude such a possibility [of holding negotiations with Pashinyan], but this requires certain conditions. At this stage, I do not consider it productive — on the contrary [the talks will not be productive]. The Armenian leadership should finally understand that it is impossible to speak with Azerbaijan using the language of ultimatums, insults and blackmail," Aliyev said.

08:23 GMT 11.10.2020
07:26 GMT 11.10.2020

YEREVAN (Sputnik) - Arayik Harutyunyan, the president of the unrecognised Nagorno-Karabakh republic, also known as Artsakh, said on Sunday that Azerbaijan pursues "policy of genocide" against his people, adding that Ankara and "international terrorism" assist Baku.

"Azerbaijan is pursuing a policy of genocide against the people who have been fighting for their freedom since 1988. Turkey and international terrorism help Azerbaijan. International terrorism infiltrates the region", Harutyunyan said during a briefing.

The leader of Nagorno-Karabakh also accused Azerbaijan of attacking civilian infrastructure and said that the region would never accept Baku’s demands.

"It will not happen. Artsakh pursues the right to self-defence, and Artsakh will not be a part of Azerbaijan", Harutyunyan said.

The president of Artsakh added that the self-proclaimed republic would call on Armenia and other countries to recognise the region’s independence if Azerbaijan did not clearly express its readiness to resolve the dispute peacefully in the next few days.

"I will appeal to international organisations and all countries. We will see what countries respect human rights, the international right to self-determination and what countries support terrorism. The countries that assist Azerbaijan support terrorism", Harutyunyan said.

The leader of the Armenian-majority self-proclaimed republic said that he was ready to declare a patriotic war and call on all Armenians to defend the region, if "Azerbaijan wants a long-lasting war."

06:45 GMT 11.10.2020

The ceasefire between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding regions is not being observed, the president of the self-proclaimed republic of Artsakh, Arayik Harutyunyan, said on Sunday.

The Moscow-brokered ceasefire was set to take effect at noon (08:00 GMT) on Saturday but was immediately followed by claims of ongoing attacks from both sides.

"The regime is not fully observed. This morning it was relatively calm, there is an exchange of fire at the front, but I will not call it fighting," Harutyunyan said.

06:16 GMT 11.10.2020

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said on Sunday that the international community should recognize the right of the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh republic, also known as Artsakh, to self-determination.

"The world must recognize the right to self-determination of Artsakh. If governments and parliaments do not do that, peoples, individuals, organizations can do it. This movement should become a global movement uniting such individuals, peoples and organizations," Pashinyan wrote on Facebook.

The prime minister also said that "Armenians across the world show strength of unity" and shared photos of rallies of the Armenian diaspora from around the globe. Pashinyan added that this movement should be made attractive to other nations that are against "violence, corruption, terrorism."

Deadly clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the disputed region erupted in late September. Many countries, especially Russia, France and the United States, which co-chair the OSCE Minsk Group that seeks to settle the decades-long conflict, have called on both sides to cease hostilities and return to the negotiating table.

During their talks in Moscow on Friday, foreign ministers of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia agreed to a ceasefire. Nonetheless, Baku and Yerevan have accused each other of violating the ceasefire over the weekend.

05:56 GMT 11.10.2020

BAKU (Sputnik) - An Armenian rocket has hit a residential building in Azerbaijan’s western city of Ganja leading to the deaths of at least seven people and injuring 33 others, including children, the country's Foreign Ministry said on Sunday.

In the early hours of Sunday, Azerbaijan’s Defence Ministry said that Ganja was shelled from the territory of Armenia. The Armenian Defence Ministry has refuted Baku’s claims.

Earlier in the day, Azerbaijan’s Prosecutor General’s Office said that at least five people were killed and 28 others were injured in Ganja.

During their talks in Moscow on Friday, foreign ministers of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia agreed to a ceasefire. Nonetheless, Baku and Yerevan have accused each other of violating the ceasefire over the weekend.

On the night from Saturday to Sunday, explosions were heard in Stepanakert, the capital of the unrecognized Republic of Artsakh (Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh). The city of Shusha, located about 12 kilometres (7.5 miles) from Stepanakert was also shelled, according to a Sputnik correspondent.

Late on Saturday, spokesperson of the president of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, Vahram Poghosyan, said Shusha and the town of Martuni had been shelled by Azerbaijan despite the active ceasefire.

Poghosyan said that the shelling of Stepanakert amid the ceasefire that came into force at noon on Saturday was disrespectful of the Friday talks in Moscow.

05:55 GMT 11.10.2020

Armenian forces on Sunday morning launched a missile attack against the city of Mingecevir, located more than 60 miles away from the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, where a major hydroelectric power plant is located, Azerbaijan’s General Prosecutor’s Office said, adding that the country's air defence forces managed to repel the attack.

"On October 11, 2020, at about 04:00 a.m. [00:00 GMT], the enemy’s military fired missiles at Mingecevir, a large industrial city located more than 100 kilometers [62 miles] from the front line, at the Mingecevir hydroelectric power station, the largest thermal power plant in the South Caucasus. The missiles were neutralized by the air defence forces of our military. The prosecutor's office conducts the necessary investigative measures to inspect the accident site," the prosecutor’s office said.

Over the weekend, Yerevan and Baku accused each other of breaking a ceasefire agreed in Moscow during the Friday talks. Armenia and the unrecognized republic of Nagorno-Karabakh say that the Azerbaijani forces continue shelling Stepanakert and other settlements, while Azerbaijan said that Armenia fired missiles at Ganja, the country’s second-largest city, and destroyed a residential building. Armenia has refuted Baku’s claims.

Deadly clashes in the region erupted in late September. Many countries, especially Russia, France and the United States, which co-chair the OSCE Minsk Group that seeks to settle the decades-long conflict, have called on both sides to cease hostilities and return to the negotiating table.

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