RFE/RL Armenian Report – 10/19/2020

                                        Monday, 

Armenian, Azeri Leaders Say Ready To Meet

        • Heghine Buniatian

Germany -- Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian (R) and Azerbaijani President 
Ilham Aliyev meet in Munich, February 15, 2020.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev 
expressed readiness on Monday to meet in Moscow for urgent talks on the 
Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

The two men were interviewed by the official Russian news agency TASS as heavy 
fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces continued in and around 
Karabakh.

“The Karabakh conflict must be resolved by exclusively peaceful means … And I’m 
ready to make every effort to achieve such a result, including to travel [to 
Moscow,] meet and talk,” said Pashinian.

He said that Armenia remains committed to a “compromise” peace deal. “If there 
is no such readiness on the opposite side we are ready to fight till the end for 
our people, our compatriots in Nagorno-Karabakh,” he said.

Aliyev said, for his part, that Baku is “prepared for any contacts” with 
Yerevan. “We are always ready to meet in Moscow or any other place to end the 
conflict and reach a settlement,” he told TASS.

Aliyev noted at the same time that he has received “no such invitation” from 
Russia yet.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov hosted on October 9-10 talks between his 
Armenian and Azerbaijani counterparts that resulted in an agreement to stop 
hostilities in the conflict zone. However, the fighting has continued since 
then, with each side accusing the other of violating the agreement.

Lavrov said earlier on Monday that Moscow keeps pressing the sides to stop the 
war and resume “substantive” peace talks that will center on a framework peace 
accord proposed by the Russian, French and U.S. co-chairs of the Minsk Group.

Aliyev said that unlike Armenia’s current leadership he supports the proposed 
settlement that calls, among other things, for Armenian withdrawal from 
districts around Karabakh before an agreement on the disputed territory’s 
status, the main bone of contention.

Pashinian put the emphasis on Azerbaijan’s recognition of the Karabakh 
Armenians’ right to self-determination. This issue is of “strategic importance” 
to the Armenian side, he said.



UN Chief Urges Armenia, Azerbaijan To Restore Truce

        • Heghine Buniatian

U.S. -- Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, speaking 
during the 75th General Assembly of the United Nations, in New York, September 
21, 2020

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called on Armenia and 
Azerbaijan to respect their latest ceasefire agreement and resume peace talks 
mediated by France, Russia and the United States.

“The Secretary-General deeply regrets that the sides have continuously ignored 
the repeated calls of the international community to immediately stop the 
fighting,” read a statement released by a spokesman for Guterres on Sunday.

“The Secretary-General notes the latest announcement on the start of the 
humanitarian truce on 18 October and expects both parties to fully abide by this 
commitment and resume substantive negotiations without delay under the auspices 
of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs,” it said.

The truce was due to come into force early on Sunday. However, hostilities in 
the Karabakh conflict zone have continued since then, with each side accusing 
the other of violating the agreement.

Guterres also condemned shelling of civilian areas which has killed dozens of 
people from both sides.

“The tragic loss of civilian lives, including children, from the latest reported 
strike on 16 October on the [Azerbaijani] city of Ganja is totally unacceptable, 
as are indiscriminate attacks on populated areas anywhere, including in 
Stepanakert/Khankendi and other localities in and around the immediate 
Nagorno-Karabakh zone of conflict,” said the statement.

“As [Guterres] underscored again in his latest calls with the Foreign Ministers 
of Armenia and Azerbaijan, both sides have the obligation under international 
humanitarian law to take constant care to spare and protect civilians and 
civilian infrastructure in the conduct of military operations,” it said.



Russia ‘Keeps Trying’ To Stop Karabakh War


RUSSIA -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov speaks during a joint press 
conference with his Armenian counterpart Zohrab Mnatsakanian following their 
talks in Moscow on October 12, 2020.

Russia keeps pressing Armenia and Azerbaijan to work out a “verification 
mechanism” that would ensure their compliance with ceasefire agreements reached 
by them, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday.
“In order for the ceasefire to work -- we have seen that after two documents 
that were adopted but did not allow to radically change the situation on the 
ground -- [it is necessary] to create a mechanism to verify compliance with the 
ceasefire regime,” Lavrov told reporters in Moscow.

“We, including our Defense Ministry, are actively working on that, with 
colleagues from Azerbaijan and Armenia in the first instance,” he said, 
according to the TASS news agency. “I hope that such a mechanism will be agreed 
on in the very near future.”

Lavrov made a case for such a mechanism after an Armenian-Azerbaijani ceasefire 
agreement brokered by Russia on October 10 failed to stop hostilities in and 
around Nagorno-Karabakh. He said Moscow is ready to deploy “military observers” 
to the conflict zone as part of such an arrangement. Azerbaijan reportedly 
objected to the idea.

According to a spokeswoman for Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian, the Russians 
tried unsuccessfully to organize a meeting of Armenian and Azerbaijani military 
officials last week. She said representatives of the Armenian Defense Ministry 
flew to Moscow but the meeting did not take place because their Azerbaijani 
counterparts did not show up.

Lavrov again spoke with his Armenian and Azerbaijani counterparts on Saturday. 
The separate phone calls were followed by the announcement of another 
Armenian-Azerbaijani truce agreement which was reportedly brokered by France. 
Fighting in Karabakh continued even after that deal, which the warring sides 
accusing each other of not respecting it.

Lavrov on Monday also urged the sides as well as “international players” to tone 
down their “confrontational rhetoric.” “The next absolutely necessary step … is 
a halt to the hostilities and strikes on civilian areas,” he said.

Earlier in the day the Armenian Foreign Ministry insisted that Yerevan remains 
“faithful” to the truce agreements. It claimed that Baku “does not want or is 
unable to implement” them.



Trump Praises Armenians On Campaign Trail

        • Harry Tamrazian

U.S. President Donald Trump holds a campaign rally at John Murtha 
Johnstown-Cambria County Airport in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, October 13, 2020.

U.S. President Donald Trump has lavished praise on Americans of Armenian descent 
and said his administration is “working” to address their concerns.
Trump reacted to a supportive chant from an Armenian American woman as he spoke 
at an election campaign rally in Nevada on Sunday. “We are working on some 
things,” he said without elaborating.

“Armenians, they are good people,” Trump went on. “They are great businesspeople 
too, you know … Where I just left there were some many Armenians with beautiful 
flags. We’re working on some things.”

“People from Armenia, they have a great spirit for their country. Thank you very 
much,” he added.

Trump spoke after being greeted in neighboring California by Armenian American 
supporters who waved Armenian flags and urged the U.S. administration to 
recognize Nagorno-Karabakh and help stop Turkey’s military support for 
Azerbaijan.

Trump has still not publicly commented on the hostilities in and around Karabakh 
that broke out on September 27. But U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has 
repeatedly called for an end to the fighting.

On Thursday Pompeo also criticized Turkey’s involvement in the conflict. “We now 
have the Turks, who have stepped in and provided resources to Azerbaijan, 
increasing the risk, increasing the firepower that’s taking place in this 
historic fight,” he told broadcaster WSB Atlanta.

“We’re hopeful that the Armenians will be able to defend against what the 
Azerbaijanis are doing, and that they will all, before that takes place, get the 
ceasefire right, and then sit down at the table and try and sort through this,” 
Pompeo said in remarks criticized by Azerbaijan.

The United States, Russia and France have long been leading international 
efforts to end the Karabakh conflict through the Minsk Group of the Organization 
for Security Organization in Europe.

Moscow brokered an Armenian-Azerbaijani ceasefire agreement on October 10. 
Hostilities in the conflict zone have continued since then, however.

Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, Trump’s Democratic rival in the November 3 
presidential election, last week expressed deep concern over the “collapse” of 
the ceasefire and accused the Trump administration of being “largely passive and 
disengaged.”



Karabakh Ceasefire Still Not Holding


NAGORNO-KARABAKH -- An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) explodes atop of a mountain 
outside Stepanakert, 

Hostilities in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone reportedly continued on Monday 
two days after another humanitarian ceasefire agreement announced by Armenia and 
Azerbaijan.

Karabakh’s Armenian-backed army said Azerbaijani forces again started shelling 
in the morning its frontline positions north and south of Karabakh. It said its 
troops are “taking adequate measures” in response.

Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry said, for its part, that Armenian forces shelled 
Azerbaijani districts north and east of Karabakh overnight and in the morning.

The conflicting parties continued to accuse each other of not respecting the 
ceasefire agreement which was reportedly brokered by French President Emmanuel 
Macron and was supposed to come into force on Sunday morning.

“Minutes after the announcement of the humanitarian truce, the Azerbaijani armed 
forces resumed hostilities and on the morning of October 18 launched a 
large-scale offensive on the southern front,” the Armenian Foreign Ministry said 
in a statement.

“In fact, this is the second ceasefire agreement that Azerbaijan does not want 
or is unable to implement,” it added, referring to a similar deal that was 
brokered by Russia on October 10.

Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanian and his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le 
Drian discussed the situation on the ground in a phone call on Sunday. According 
to his press office, Mnatsakanian “reaffirmed Armenia’s commitment to 
strengthening the ceasefire regime.”

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev claimed, meanwhile, that it was the Armenian 
side that “blatantly violated” the truce agreement early on Sunday. He said at 
the same time that the Azerbaijani army has made more territorial gains since 
then.

Karabakh authorities said that the Karabakh town of Martuni and several villages 
came under Azerbaijani rocket fire on the night from Sunday to Monday. But the 
Karabakh capital Stepanakert was not shelled for a second consecutive night, 
RFE/RL correspondent Susan Badalian reported from the scene.

Most local residents continued to stay in basements and bomb shelters. Some of 
them told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service that they expect renewed shelling.

Many buildings in Stepanakert have been seriously damaged since the start of the 
war on September 27.


Reprinted on ANN/Armenian News with permission from RFE/RL
Copyright (c) 2020 Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, Inc.
1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

 


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RFE/RL Armenian Report – 10/19/2020

                                        Monday, 

Armenian, Azeri Leaders Say Ready To Meet

        • Heghine Buniatian

Germany -- Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian (R) and Azerbaijani President 
Ilham Aliyev meet in Munich, February 15, 2020.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev 
expressed readiness on Monday to meet in Moscow for urgent talks on the 
Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

The two men were interviewed by the official Russian news agency TASS as heavy 
fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces continued in and around 
Karabakh.

“The Karabakh conflict must be resolved by exclusively peaceful means … And I’m 
ready to make every effort to achieve such a result, including to travel [to 
Moscow,] meet and talk,” said Pashinian.

He said that Armenia remains committed to a “compromise” peace deal. “If there 
is no such readiness on the opposite side we are ready to fight till the end for 
our people, our compatriots in Nagorno-Karabakh,” he said.

Aliyev said, for his part, that Baku is “prepared for any contacts” with 
Yerevan. “We are always ready to meet in Moscow or any other place to end the 
conflict and reach a settlement,” he told TASS.

Aliyev noted at the same time that he has received “no such invitation” from 
Russia yet.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov hosted on October 9-10 talks between his 
Armenian and Azerbaijani counterparts that resulted in an agreement to stop 
hostilities in the conflict zone. However, the fighting has continued since 
then, with each side accusing the other of violating the agreement.

Lavrov said earlier on Monday that Moscow keeps pressing the sides to stop the 
war and resume “substantive” peace talks that will center on a framework peace 
accord proposed by the Russian, French and U.S. co-chairs of the Minsk Group.

Aliyev said that unlike Armenia’s current leadership he supports the proposed 
settlement that calls, among other things, for Armenian withdrawal from 
districts around Karabakh before an agreement on the disputed territory’s 
status, the main bone of contention.

Pashinian put the emphasis on Azerbaijan’s recognition of the Karabakh 
Armenians’ right to self-determination. This issue is of “strategic importance” 
to the Armenian side, he said.



UN Chief Urges Armenia, Azerbaijan To Restore Truce

        • Heghine Buniatian

U.S. -- Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, speaking 
during the 75th General Assembly of the United Nations, in New York, September 
21, 2020

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called on Armenia and 
Azerbaijan to respect their latest ceasefire agreement and resume peace talks 
mediated by France, Russia and the United States.

“The Secretary-General deeply regrets that the sides have continuously ignored 
the repeated calls of the international community to immediately stop the 
fighting,” read a statement released by a spokesman for Guterres on Sunday.

“The Secretary-General notes the latest announcement on the start of the 
humanitarian truce on 18 October and expects both parties to fully abide by this 
commitment and resume substantive negotiations without delay under the auspices 
of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs,” it said.

The truce was due to come into force early on Sunday. However, hostilities in 
the Karabakh conflict zone have continued since then, with each side accusing 
the other of violating the agreement.

Guterres also condemned shelling of civilian areas which has killed dozens of 
people from both sides.

“The tragic loss of civilian lives, including children, from the latest reported 
strike on 16 October on the [Azerbaijani] city of Ganja is totally unacceptable, 
as are indiscriminate attacks on populated areas anywhere, including in 
Stepanakert/Khankendi and other localities in and around the immediate 
Nagorno-Karabakh zone of conflict,” said the statement.

“As [Guterres] underscored again in his latest calls with the Foreign Ministers 
of Armenia and Azerbaijan, both sides have the obligation under international 
humanitarian law to take constant care to spare and protect civilians and 
civilian infrastructure in the conduct of military operations,” it said.



Russia ‘Keeps Trying’ To Stop Karabakh War


RUSSIA -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov speaks during a joint press 
conference with his Armenian counterpart Zohrab Mnatsakanian following their 
talks in Moscow on October 12, 2020.

Russia keeps pressing Armenia and Azerbaijan to work out a “verification 
mechanism” that would ensure their compliance with ceasefire agreements reached 
by them, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday.
“In order for the ceasefire to work -- we have seen that after two documents 
that were adopted but did not allow to radically change the situation on the 
ground -- [it is necessary] to create a mechanism to verify compliance with the 
ceasefire regime,” Lavrov told reporters in Moscow.

“We, including our Defense Ministry, are actively working on that, with 
colleagues from Azerbaijan and Armenia in the first instance,” he said, 
according to the TASS news agency. “I hope that such a mechanism will be agreed 
on in the very near future.”

Lavrov made a case for such a mechanism after an Armenian-Azerbaijani ceasefire 
agreement brokered by Russia on October 10 failed to stop hostilities in and 
around Nagorno-Karabakh. He said Moscow is ready to deploy “military observers” 
to the conflict zone as part of such an arrangement. Azerbaijan reportedly 
objected to the idea.

According to a spokeswoman for Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian, the Russians 
tried unsuccessfully to organize a meeting of Armenian and Azerbaijani military 
officials last week. She said representatives of the Armenian Defense Ministry 
flew to Moscow but the meeting did not take place because their Azerbaijani 
counterparts did not show up.

Lavrov again spoke with his Armenian and Azerbaijani counterparts on Saturday. 
The separate phone calls were followed by the announcement of another 
Armenian-Azerbaijani truce agreement which was reportedly brokered by France. 
Fighting in Karabakh continued even after that deal, which the warring sides 
accusing each other of not respecting it.

Lavrov on Monday also urged the sides as well as “international players” to tone 
down their “confrontational rhetoric.” “The next absolutely necessary step … is 
a halt to the hostilities and strikes on civilian areas,” he said.

Earlier in the day the Armenian Foreign Ministry insisted that Yerevan remains 
“faithful” to the truce agreements. It claimed that Baku “does not want or is 
unable to implement” them.



Trump Praises Armenians On Campaign Trail

        • Harry Tamrazian

U.S. President Donald Trump holds a campaign rally at John Murtha 
Johnstown-Cambria County Airport in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, October 13, 2020.

U.S. President Donald Trump has lavished praise on Americans of Armenian descent 
and said his administration is “working” to address their concerns.
Trump reacted to a supportive chant from an Armenian American woman as he spoke 
at an election campaign rally in Nevada on Sunday. “We are working on some 
things,” he said without elaborating.

“Armenians, they are good people,” Trump went on. “They are great businesspeople 
too, you know … Where I just left there were some many Armenians with beautiful 
flags. We’re working on some things.”

“People from Armenia, they have a great spirit for their country. Thank you very 
much,” he added.

Trump spoke after being greeted in neighboring California by Armenian American 
supporters who waved Armenian flags and urged the U.S. administration to 
recognize Nagorno-Karabakh and help stop Turkey’s military support for 
Azerbaijan.

Trump has still not publicly commented on the hostilities in and around Karabakh 
that broke out on September 27. But U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has 
repeatedly called for an end to the fighting.

On Thursday Pompeo also criticized Turkey’s involvement in the conflict. “We now 
have the Turks, who have stepped in and provided resources to Azerbaijan, 
increasing the risk, increasing the firepower that’s taking place in this 
historic fight,” he told broadcaster WSB Atlanta.

“We’re hopeful that the Armenians will be able to defend against what the 
Azerbaijanis are doing, and that they will all, before that takes place, get the 
ceasefire right, and then sit down at the table and try and sort through this,” 
Pompeo said in remarks criticized by Azerbaijan.

The United States, Russia and France have long been leading international 
efforts to end the Karabakh conflict through the Minsk Group of the Organization 
for Security Organization in Europe.

Moscow brokered an Armenian-Azerbaijani ceasefire agreement on October 10. 
Hostilities in the conflict zone have continued since then, however.

Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, Trump’s Democratic rival in the November 3 
presidential election, last week expressed deep concern over the “collapse” of 
the ceasefire and accused the Trump administration of being “largely passive and 
disengaged.”



Karabakh Ceasefire Still Not Holding


NAGORNO-KARABAKH -- An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) explodes atop of a mountain 
outside Stepanakert, 

Hostilities in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone reportedly continued on Monday 
two days after another humanitarian ceasefire agreement announced by Armenia and 
Azerbaijan.

Karabakh’s Armenian-backed army said Azerbaijani forces again started shelling 
in the morning its frontline positions north and south of Karabakh. It said its 
troops are “taking adequate measures” in response.

Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry said, for its part, that Armenian forces shelled 
Azerbaijani districts north and east of Karabakh overnight and in the morning.

The conflicting parties continued to accuse each other of not respecting the 
ceasefire agreement which was reportedly brokered by French President Emmanuel 
Macron and was supposed to come into force on Sunday morning.

“Minutes after the announcement of the humanitarian truce, the Azerbaijani armed 
forces resumed hostilities and on the morning of October 18 launched a 
large-scale offensive on the southern front,” the Armenian Foreign Ministry said 
in a statement.

“In fact, this is the second ceasefire agreement that Azerbaijan does not want 
or is unable to implement,” it added, referring to a similar deal that was 
brokered by Russia on October 10.

Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanian and his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le 
Drian discussed the situation on the ground in a phone call on Sunday. According 
to his press office, Mnatsakanian “reaffirmed Armenia’s commitment to 
strengthening the ceasefire regime.”

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev claimed, meanwhile, that it was the Armenian 
side that “blatantly violated” the truce agreement early on Sunday. He said at 
the same time that the Azerbaijani army has made more territorial gains since 
then.

Karabakh authorities said that the Karabakh town of Martuni and several villages 
came under Azerbaijani rocket fire on the night from Sunday to Monday. But the 
Karabakh capital Stepanakert was not shelled for a second consecutive night, 
RFE/RL correspondent Susan Badalian reported from the scene.

Most local residents continued to stay in basements and bomb shelters. Some of 
them told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service that they expect renewed shelling.

Many buildings in Stepanakert have been seriously damaged since the start of the 
war on September 27.


Reprinted on ANN/Armenian News with permission from RFE/RL
Copyright (c) 2020 Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, Inc.
1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

 


You may also like