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29 Sep, 2020 22:47

UN Security Council calls for ‘immediate end’ to Azerbaijan-Armenia clashes over disputed Nagorno-Karabakh territory

UN Security Council calls for ‘immediate end’ to Azerbaijan-Armenia clashes over disputed Nagorno-Karabakh territory

Following an emergency meeting, on Tuesday, the United Nations Security Council has called for a ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed region contested by Armenia and Azerbaijan, and a return to “meaningful negotiations.”

“The Security Council members voiced support for the call by the secretary-general on the sides to immediately stop fighting, de-escalate tensions and return to meaningful negotiations without delay,” UNSC Chairman Abdou Abarry, representing Niger, said in a statement on Tuesday.

Abarry added that the council condemned the use of force and expressed concern about the clashes in the area.

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Fighting broke out on Sunday when Azerbaijani artillery opened fire on the territory held by ethnic Armenians, claiming it was responding to provocations. Combat has since escalated to involve tanks, drones and fighter jets. There have been reports of both civilian and military casualties on both sides.

Nagorno-Karabakh is one of several border disputes left over from the collapse of the Soviet Union. An enclave predominantly populated by Armenians, it was included in the borders of Soviet Azerbaijan but seceded in 1988 and declared itself the Republic of Artsakh. A bitter war in 1991-94 left most of Nagorno-Karabakh under Armenian control, along with a territory linking it to Armenia proper. Azerbaijan insists on retaking the territory and Baku’s most recent push to do so has been backed by neighboring Turkey.

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