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Christodoulides calls on sides in Nagorno-Karabakh hostilities to show restraint

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File photo: Christodoulides with his Armenian counterpart Zohrab Mnatsakanyan

The foreign ministry on Sunday expressed its deep concern over the escalation of tensions in the Nagorno-Karabakh region and condemns the violation of the ceasefire by Azerbaijan that led to casualties also among  civilians.

“We call on all sides to show restraint and end hostilities so that tensions deescalate as soon as possible,” Cyprus’ foreign ministry said.

In light of the developments, Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides had a telephone conversation earlier on Sunday with his Armenian counterpart Zohrab Mnatsakanyan. The Armenian minister briefed Christodoulides on the latest developments.

Christodoulides expressed to Mnatsakanyan the support of the Cypriot government in the efforts for the peaceful settlement of disputes on the basis of international law, through the negotiation process within the Minsk Group, the ministry said in a written statement. He also condemned any action by stakeholders and or intervention by third parties moving in the opposite direction.

Earlier in the day, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan called on the international community to ensure that Turkey does not involve itself in Armenia’s conflict with Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, trading barbs with Ankara.

Turkey, an Azeri ally, had earlier sharply criticised Armenia after clashes between Armenian and Azeri forces broke out in the morning, saying Yerevan was an obstacle to peace and vowing to continue its support for Baku.

Pashinyan said Turkey’s behaviour could have destructive consequences for the South Caucasus and neighbouring regions.

Both sides, which fought a war in the 1990s, reported fatalities. Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh, a breakaway region that is inside Azerbaijan but is run by ethnic Armenians, declared martial law and mobilised its male population.

The military command of Azerbaijan proposed to the command of the Armenian garrison located in the settlement of Agdere to lay down its arms and surrender, Azerbaijan’s defence ministry said in a statement. The armed forces of Nagorno-Karabakh described the statement as disinformation.



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