MOSCOW, October 1. /TASS/. Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia, Donald Trump of the United States and Emmanuel Macron of France in a joint statement have called on Armenia and Azerbaijan to resume talks on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict without preconditions.
“We also call on the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan to commit without delay to resuming substantive negotiations, in good faith and without preconditions, under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs,” the statement reads.
The presidents urged an immediate cessation of hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh. “We call for an immediate cessation of hostilities between the relevant military forces.”
They also expressed condolences to the families of those killed in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in their joint statement. “We mourn the victims and express our condolences to the families of those killed and wounded,” the presidents said, according to the Public Radio of Armenia.
Renewed clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia erupted on September 27, with intense battles raging in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The area experienced flare-ups of violence in the summer of 2014, in April 2016 and this past July. Azerbaijan and Armenia have imposed martial law and launched mobilization efforts. Both parties to the conflict have reported casualties, among them civilians.
The conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed territory that had been part of Azerbaijan before the Soviet Union break-up, but primarily populated by ethnic Armenians, broke out in February 1988 after the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region announced its withdrawal from the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1992-1994, tensions boiled over and exploded into large-scale military action for control over the enclave and seven adjacent territories after Azerbaijan lost control of them. Talks on the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement have been ongoing since 1992 under the OSCE Minsk Group, led by its three co-chairs – Russia, France and the United States.