Azerbaijan And Armenia Reject Talks As Karabakh Conflict Zone Spreads

Armenia and Azerbaijan accused one another of firing directly into each other’s territory and rejected pressure to hold peace talks as their conflict.

Jessica David

September 30, 2020

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Armenia and Azerbaijan accused one another on Tuesday (September 29) of firing directly into each other’s territory and rejected pressure to hold peace talks as their conflict over the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh threatened to mushroom into all-out war. Both reported firing from the other side across their shared border, well to the west of the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region. This led to fierce fighting breaking out between Azeri and ethnic Armenian forces on Sunday (September 27). The incidents signalled a further escalation of the conflict despite urgent appeals from Russia, the United States and others to halt it.

The conflict has reignited concerns about stability in the South Caucasus region, a corridor for pipelines carrying oil and gas to world markets. Azeri President Ilham Aliyev, speaking to Russian state television, flatly ruled out any possibility of talks. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan told the same channel the talks cannot take place while fighting continued. Nagorno-Karabakh is a breakaway region that is inside Azerbaijan but run by ethnic Armenians and backed by Armenia.

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