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First Attempt Of Mediation Between Azerbaijan and Armenia Amid Conflict

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The conflict between the two countries continues in the Armenian-administered Azerbaijani region of Nagorno-Karabakh, but for the first time in Geneva, global mediation efforts have also begun.

According to a report by Reuters, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov was scheduled to meet with diplomats from France, Russia and the United States.

The three countries, known as the OSCE Minsk Group, have been working since the 1990s to end the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia in Nagorno-Karabakh.

The Minsk Group’s efforts led to a ceasefire between the two countries in the 1990s, but no peace agreement was reached, leading to tensions at various times.

On the other hand, the Armenian government has ruled out the possibility of talks and their foreign minister will not attend the meeting.

Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan will meet his Russian counterpart in Moscow next week.

According to reports, fighting is still going on in Nagorno-Karabakh and explosions and sirens have been heard in Stepenkurt, the capital of the disputed region, where shelling has been going on for several days.

Civilian homes and several buildings have been destroyed by bombings during fighting in the region since last month.

The Defense Ministries of both Azerbaijan and Armenia said the fighting was ongoing and both sides accused each other of shelling civilian areas, claiming heavy losses.

Referring to the latest bombing in Stepanakert, Azerbaijan said that Armenian shelling had killed and injured several people near the border.

Artak Beglaryan, a member of Armenian civil rights, said the recent fighting had displaced about 140,000 people, half of Karabakh’s population, and forced 90 per cent of women and children to flee their homes.

Dozens of civilians have been killed so far in the ongoing fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh, and Armenia has so far confirmed the deaths of more than 300 soldiers, while Azerbaijan has not yet issued a report on military casualties.

Authorities in Baku say 427 homes have been damaged, displacing more than 1,200 people.

World leaders called for an immediate end to the fighting, which began late last month, and Russian President Vladimir Putin deplored the ceasefire, calling it “regrettable.”

It should be noted that with Azerbaijan and Armenia gaining independence from the Soviet Union in 1990, the conflict with separatists in Karabakh began and 30,000 people were killed in the early years.

Negotiations between the two countries to resolve the dispute have made little progress since 1994.

Pro-Armenian separatists seized control of the Nagorno-Karabakh region from Baku in the 1990s.

Later, France, Russia and the United States acted as mediators, but in 2010 the peace agreement was terminated once again.

Fresh clashes in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh erupted on September 27, killing at least 23 people on the first day, while Russia and Turkey called for an immediate end to tensions.

Clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia have so far killed more than 244 people and targeted several cities.

The Nagorno-Karabakh region covers an area of ​​4,400 square kilometres and is 50 kilometres from the Armenian border. Armenia, with the help of local fighters, invaded and occupied the territory of Azerbaijan from outside the region.

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