Armenia And Azerbaijan Agree On A Temporary Ceasefire After Weeks Of Fighting

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Armenia And Azerbaijan Agree On A Temporary Ceasefire Weeks Of Fighting

Photo: The two countries, mediated by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, took 10 hours to agree to a ceasefire, EPA images

A ceasefire, albeit a temporary one, has been agreed between Armenia and Azerbaijan amid hope that it will end the escalating conflict that has burned since the 27th of September. Several hundred people have now been killed and as many as 30,000 people have been displaced within the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, known as Artsakh in Armenia.

The ceasefire came about after 10 hours of talks in Moscow between representatives of both Armenia and Azerbaijan, with Russian officials also taking part. It has now been agreed that further talks will take place that will seek to rectify the regional dispute between the two states.

The Armenian Foreign Minister has stated that Armenia wishes to see Artsakh given recognition by the international community as an independent state, while Azerbaijan, and their ally Turkey, seem unwilling to concede on this point. Quite where the conflict goes from here is unclear.

Already Armenia has accused Azerbaijan of striking targets from the air just 5 minutes after the ceasefire was announced. It has also been reported that Azerbaijani forces have intentionally bombed churches and historical sites within the region.

On Twitter, the Armenian Foreign Minister, Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, said:

"Shushi Holy Savior Cathedral has been deliberately bombed by savage aggressor. Azerbaijan with direct involvement of Turkey and international terrorists continue to target civilians, destroy infrastructure and reveal the depth of their barbarity by destroying holy sites. This is an affront to humanity."

Reports earlier this week showed that Azerbaijan had dropped cluster bombs in the region, devices which are banned by most countries around the world. The church attack is hardly the first time that Azerbaijan has been responsible for intentional attacks on Armenian heritage.

In the 2000s and 2010s, Azerbaijan oversaw in the region of Nakhichevan the intentional destruction of centuries old Armenian graveyards and ancient holy buildings, a UNESCO world heritage site. The Guardian newspaper states that such actions may be the greatest intentional cultural vandalism of the 21st century, greater than the crimes committed by ISIS or the Taliban.

The Artsakh region is inhabited by ethnic Armenians, however they face persecution and discrimination at the hands of the Azerbaijan state and the Muslim majority. It is their goal to achieve independent statehood or join with the Armenian state.

It was reported by award-winning journalist Lindsey Snell last month that Turkey is moving the paramilitary Jihadi group, the 'Hamza brigade', to the disputed region to assist Azerbaijan. The Hamza brigade is thought responsible for genocides, rapes and mass-killings in Libya and Syria, where they served as Turkish proxies.

Whether the ceasefire holds and whether a real solution can be found to the dispute waits to be seen.

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Thinking Humanity: Armenia And Azerbaijan Agree On A Temporary Ceasefire After Weeks Of Fighting
Armenia And Azerbaijan Agree On A Temporary Ceasefire After Weeks Of Fighting
A ceasefire, albeit a temporary one, has been agreed between Armenia and Azerbaijan amid hope that it will end the escalating conflict
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