Armenia proclaims a truce with Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan–Armenia proclaims a truce with Azerbaijan, mediated by Moscow, after escalating tensions between the two countries. On Tuesday, Yerevan reported that 15 Armenian soldiers had been killed and another 12 captured by Azerbaijani forces, who had launched an attack in the border area and invaded the national territory. Brussels had asked the two sides for “a de-escalation and a total ceasefire.”
“Amidst the silence of our partners in the international community, Azerbaijan and its supporters continue their aggressive actions,” said Nikol Pashinyan, the Armenian Prime Minister. “My Mutation is unequivocal: Azerbaijan and its supporters are targeting our sovereignty, our statehood, our independence.”
Yesterday, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry announced that seven Azerbaijani soldiers were killed in battles with Armenian forces near the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region on Tuesday. In addition, the ministry said ten Azerbaijani soldiers were injured in the clashes, which are the heaviest since the war between Yerevan and Baku last year. For its part, Armenia announced the death of a soldier, the loss of another 24 and 13 prisoners.
Of an entirely different opinion, Baku: “To prevent an attack by the Armenian armed forces, our units in the southwest took immediate measures,” said Anar Aivazov, spokesman for the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry. “Initially, the movement of the Armenians was limited, also damaging their vehicles. As a result, the Armenian anti-tank device and the mortar were destroyed.” Last year, thousands of people died during the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. A war that ended thanks to a peace agreement brokered by Russia, but which did not completely extinguish the tensions.
The Turkish president, the key sponsor of the Azeris in the conflict with Armenia, is the first leader to visit the historic city of Shusha, which was taken over by the Baku armed forces in November last year, after 28 years of Armenian occupation. In the city, known as the pearl of Nagorno-Karabakh, the Turkish leader and the president of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, have signed a memorandum of the alliance. They pledge to deepen political, economic ties. Erdoğan also promised to open a Turkish consulate in Shusha.
The city has significant military value, located on a hill about 10 kilometers south of the region’s capital, Khankendi (Stepanakert), and on the road that connects the city with Armenian territory. In addition to its strategic importance, the city is considered by Baku a symbol of Azerbaijani history and culture. Regarding relations with Yerevan, Erdogan said that “to contribute to the new status of the region, it is necessary to take a step back from the politics of hatred and provocation, and commit oneself to peace and cooperation.”