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Lunes 22 de Abril - Buenos Aires - Argentina
PREMIO MEJOR MEDIO DE PRENSA PUBLICADO EN LENGUA EXTRANJERA - MINISTERIO DE LA DIASPORA DE ARMENIA 2015
Armenia - Inconclusive ‘Integration’ Talks
Azerbaijani, Nagorno-Karabakh Sides to Meet Again
22 de Septiembre de 2023

(RFE/RL) — The first session of the closely watched “reintegration” talks in the western Azerbaijani city of Yevlax between representatives of Azerbaijan and the ethnic Armenian leadership of the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh ended without any sign of a breakthrough, as the two sides exchanged accusations and denials over reports of gunfire and apparent cease-fire violations in Nagorno-Karabakh’s de facto capital, but with word of further meetings to come.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s office said on September 21 that the two-hour session was “held in a constructive and peaceful atmosphere,” with Russian peacekeepers present.

The office added that both sides had agreed to further talks.

Separatist [Artsakh Republic] leaders also said in a statement following the meeting that they were ready to continue talks with Azerbaijani authorities.

“The parties especially stressed the need to discuss all existing issues in a peaceful environment, noting the readiness to continue meetings,” the statement said.

But with Baku hoping to consolidate gains from a 24-hour military offensive on September 19-20 that dramatically shifted political calculations in the Caucasus, ethnic Armenians’ leadership in the region was said to be demanding guarantees before their forces surrender all their weapons.

Reports of gunfire 100 kilometers away in the de facto capital of Nagorno-Karabakh, Stepanakert, and residents citing a “state of panic” there, highlighted lingering tensions as the potentially historic negotiations got under way.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose nearly 3-year-old peacekeeping mission was crucial to brokering the cease-fire a day earlier, reportedly spoke by phone with Aliyev on September 21. The Kremlin quoted Putin as stressing “the importance of ensuring the rights and security of the Armenian population of Karabakh.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose administration has backed Baku diplomatically and with drones and other military equipment, also spoke to Aliyev and expressed his “wholehearted support” for Azerbaijan.

Meanwhile, neighbor Armenia’s envoy to the United Nations, Andranik Hovhannisyan, warned the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on September 21 that Azerbaijan was perpetrating “ethnic cleansing” and a “crime against humanity” as it tried to retake the territory following nine months of a de facto blockade of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Davit Babayan, an adviser for foreign policy to the separatist government’s de facto leader [president] Samvel Shahramanyan, told Reuters that “there has not been a final agreement yet.”

He said “a whole host of questions still need to be resolved” and security guarantees would have to precede full disarmament.

The Armenian Mirror Spectator
 
 

 

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