Azerbaijan is holding consultations with Armenian separatists on Thursday, after the Azerbaijani government had launched a military operation in the .
The conflicted flared this week, but came to an abrupt halt after a cease-fire agreement was reached on Wednesday, with fighters agreeing to lay down their arms.
What do we know about the talks?
The talks are taking place in Yevlakh, over 200 kilometers (125 miles) west of the Azerbaijani capital of Baku.
The dialogue comes after the Azerbaijani government announced a cease-fire agreement with the separatists in Nagorno-Karabakh, which had been . As a result, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said his country had taken complete control of the Armenian-majority enclave.
Vehicles with Russian flags and Russian number plates also arrived for the discussions in Yevlakh.
Azerbaijan has said the talks will focus on the integration of Nagorno-Karabakh. Aliyev has said the “Armenian population of Karabakh are our citizens” and would have “their religious and cultural rights respected.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday vowed “wholehearted support” for Azerbaijan after a call with Aliyev, according to the Turkish presidency.
Reuters news agency reported that gunfire was heard in Nagorno-Karabakh’s capital amid the talks.
UN Security Council to convene amid humanitarian concerns
Later on Thursday, the UN Security Council will hold a meeting on Nagorno-Karabakh. The US, which is a permanent member of body, has expressed concerns about the humanitarian situation in the region following Azerbaijan’s assault.
and Armenia have fought two wars over the Nagorno-Karabakh since the collapse of the in 1991.
Nagorno-Karabakh separatists claim there have been “at least 200 killed and more than 400 wounded” since Azerbaijan started its assault on Tuesday. Azerbaijan said it was engaged in an .
Armenians have denounced the cease-fire and called for Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan to step down. Pashinyan, meanwhile, has said he did not have anything to do with the truce that was made between the Armenian separatists and Azerbaijan.
wd/rs (AFP, Reuters)
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