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Azerbaijan Accused Of Planning Truce Violations


Armenia - A soldier at a new Armenian army post on the border with Azerbaijan, June 16, 2021.

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian accused Azerbaijan on Saturday of avoiding peace talks with Armenia and planning instead to provoke renewed fighting in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone.

“Armenia is prepared for the resumption of negotiations but there has been no reaction from Azerbaijan,” Pashinian said after talks with visiting European Council President Charles Michel.

“And according to information obtained from unofficial sources, Azerbaijan is intent on provoking new military clashes in Karabakh and along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border. We are now seeing manifestations of that at a Nakhichevan section of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border,” he told a joint news conference with Michel.

Pashinian referred to recent days’ shootouts between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces deployed near an Armenian village bordering Azerbaijan’s Nakhichevan exclave. One Armenian soldier was killed there on Wednesday.

The Armenian military said Azerbaijani troops again opened fire on Friday at its border posts in the area about 70 kilometers south of Yerevan.

The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry has blamed the Armenian side for the skirmishes which have also left at least one Azerbaijani soldier wounded.

The skirmishes came amid a continuing military standoff along other sections of the frontier where Azerbaijani troops reportedly advanced several kilometers into Armenian territory in May.

The situation in the conflict zone was a major theme of Pashinian’s talks with Michel, the European Union’s top official who arrived in Yerevan on the first leg of his tour of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia.

Michel, who is scheduled to meet with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on Sunday, called on Armenia and Azerbaijan to pull back their troops from “contested” sections of their border and embark on its demarcation. He also urged the two warring nations to avoid inflammatory rhetoric, explore “possible cooperation projects” and restart talks on resolving the Karabakh conflict.

Aliyev again claimed on Wednesday that Baku “unilaterally” ended the dispute with its victory in the six-week war stopped by a Russian-brokered ceasefire last November. Pashinian dismissed the claim.

The Armenian premier on Saturday reaffirmed his support for the idea of troop disengagement also backed by the United States.

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