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Fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan should cease, EU official says

Fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan should cease, EU official says


The European Union’s prime diplomat on Wednesday voiced alarm over the intensifying risk to civilians posed by the worst preventing in 25 years between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces, calling for swift negotiations to finish hostilities.

Amid fears the battle might escalate right into a wider regional clash, France, the United States and Russia had been resulting from maintain talks Thursday in Geneva in regards to the preventing that erupted Sept. 27 over the ethnic Armenian enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, which lies inside Azerbaijan.

“We have seen extremely worrying reports of a surge in attacks on populated areas, which is taking a deadly toll on civilians,” Josep Borrell, the EU’s overseas affairs chief, advised European lawmakers, calling on either side to “fully observe their international obligations” to guard non-combatants.

“Our position is clear: the fighting must stop,” stated Borrell, calling for negotiations with out preconditions.

In latest days and nights, artillery hearth has been raining down on Nagorno-Karabakh’s capital, Stepanakert, sending terrified residents into bomb shelters.

“Buildings and houses are destroyed — we are so afraid of it,” an inhabitant of town, recognized solely by her first identify, Sida, told the Associated Press. “How can one stand it?”

Fighting over the Delaware-sized territory, which Armenians name by its historic identify Artsakh, is being watched with consternation not solely in Armenia correct however by members of a large diaspora, lots of whom reside in Southern California.

They embody descendants of victims and survivors of the Armenian genocide carried out by Ottoman Turks for a number of years starting in 1915. The Turkish authorities acknowledges mass deaths however disputes use of the time period “genocide,” saying killings and displacement occurred in opposition to the backdrop of chaos and preventing because the Ottoman Empire was collapsing.

The hostilities are the fiercest since an uneasy truce in 1994 ended a conflict that claimed about 30,000 lives within the late 1980s and the early 1990s, because the Soviet Union was breaking apart and its ex-republics had been forming impartial states. Since that cease-fire, Nagorno-Karabakh has been self-ruled by ethnic Armenians, however the sides didn’t attain any negotiated settlement.

The bigger South Caucasus area is a key hall for oil and fuel, and rivals Russia and Turkey have jostled for affect. Russia has ties to each Armenia and Azerbaijan, and a army base in Armenia; Turkey has come down squarely on the aspect of Azerbaijan, with which it shares ethnic and linguistic sides.

This week, the preventing has come nearer to Azerbaijan’s oil and fuel pipelines, a supply of vitality for Europe and a key income for the Azeris. BP, the British oil firm, stated it had stepped up safety at its services in Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan this week accused Armenia of intentionally focusing on a serious oil pipeline, a cost that Armenia sharply rejected.

Turkey’s overseas minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, on Tuesday traveled to the Azeri capital of Baku in a present of help. Turkey denies Armenian allegations that it has despatched militia fighters from Syria to Azerbaijan, or that it has been arming its ally.

Also a part of the risky combine surrounding the battle is Iran, which borders each Armenia and Azerbaijan. Iranian state media quoted President Hassan Rouhani as warning in televised remarks that “we must be attentive that the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan does not become a regional war.”

Fearing a conflagration within the strategic area, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Wednesday additionally urged a negotiated cease-fire.

“We want everyone to understand that it is in their interest to immediately stop hostilities, without conditions,” he advised French lawmakers.

Azerbaijan has demanded that Armenia withdraw from Nagorno-Karabakh, which the federal government in Yerevan has vowed by no means to do.

Azerbaijan stated its overseas minister, Jeyhun Bayramov, can be in Geneva on Thursday when U.S., French and Russian representatives meet to debate the disaster. The three nations make up the so-called Minsk Group that has mediated the battle below the auspices of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, or OSCE.

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