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Iran Press TV

Reports of ceasefire violations in Karabakh region extremely concerning: EU's Borrell

Iran Press TV

Sunday, 11 October 2020 7:16 PM

Head of the European Union (EU) foreign policy Josep Borrell says the bloc is "extremely concerned" over the reports of violations of a freshly-clinched truce in the volatile region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

"We note with extreme concern the reports of continued military activities, including against civilian targets, as well as civilian casualties," Borrell said in a statement on Sunday, just a day after a Russia-brokered ceasefire, between Azerbaijan and Armenia, came into forces on humanitarian grounds in the region.

The truce, signed on Friday evening after 11-hour talks in Moscow, was signed on Friday evening, but soon after it went into effect midday on Saturday, reports of attacks from both sides emerged, with Baku and Yerevan accusing each other of breaching the ceasefire.

The EU's 27 member states "urge the sides to ensure full respect of the agreement on the ground," the EU's top diplomat said, urging both sides "to engage in substantive negotiations without delay under the auspices of the so-called "Minsk Group."

Borrell referred to a process that France, Russia, and the United States have led for decades to work out a permanent solution to the Karabakh conflict, but all to no avail.

The contested region is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, but it has been under the control of Armenian-backed separatists since the early 1990s.

The recent clashes – the worst in decades – erupted on September 27, with both Yerevan and Baku accusing each other of provocation. Since the onset of the clashes, hundreds of people have reportedly been killed, including many civilians.

The international community has repeatedly called on both warring sides to agree to an immediate and unconditional truce.

Turkey to Russia: Pressure Yerevan to abide by ceasefire

In a separate development on Sunday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu asked his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, to pressure Yerevan to abide by the terms of the Russian-mediated ceasefire, which aims to allow for the exchange of prisoners and the recovery of dead bodies in the flashpoint region.

Turkey fully backs Azerbaijan and the two countries have strong relations and both consider themselves "one nation, two states." The Turkish government has already denounced what it describes as the Armenian occupation of Karabakh.

Both Ankara and Baku have so far denied there is any Turkish involvement in the ongoing conflict. However, Turkey says it is ready to support Azerbaijan if needed.

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