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Armenian, Azeri forces say truce is observed in Karabakh

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A volunteer walks on a road in the village of Talish, the Nagorno-Karabakh region, on April 6, 2016. ©Reuters

Armenian and Azeri forces say they are observing a ceasefire recently agreed between the two sides in the Caucasus region of Nagorno-Karabakh following a new spate of violence in the disputed territory.

"The ceasefire was largely observed overnight along the Karabakh frontline," the Armenia-backed Defense Ministry in Karabakh said in a statement released on Wednesday.

Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry also stated that its troops were "strictly abiding by the ceasefire agreement."

The deal was hammered out on April 5 by the Azerbaijani and Armenian army chiefs during a meeting in the Russian capital, Moscow.

It was reached after at least 75 people were reported killed since April 1, when fighting broke out between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Karabakh. Both sides accuse each other of starting the latest outbreak of violence.

'World should recognize Karabakh right to decide its fate'

In another development on Wednesday, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan called on the global community to recognize the right of the Karabakh region to determine its own future.

Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan gestures during a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel (unseen), after meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin, on April 6, 2016. ©AFP

"They want to determine their own fate and their own future," Sargsyan said after talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, adding, "They expect only one thing from the international community, namely the recognition of this right."

For her part, Merkel urged the two sides to the Karabakh conflict "to do everything in their power to stop the bloodshed and loss of life," adding that international mediation attempts are "of the greatest urgency" over the issue.

'Russia siding with Armenia in the Karakh crisis'

Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Russia of siding with Armenia in the Karabakh crisis.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses local officials during a meeting at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, on April 6, 2016. ©AFP

"Russia says Turkey is taking sides. If one is looking for those who are taking sides the most significant country taking sides is Russia. Russia loves to take sides. Russia took sides in Ukraine, Georgia and now in Syria." Erdogan said in a speech broadcast live on Wednesday.

The remarks came as Ankara has vowed to stand by Azerbaijan, saying it backs Baku "to the end" amid its clashes with Armenians over the Karabakh region.

The landlocked territory, which is located in the Azerbaijan Republic but is populated by Armenians, has been under control of local ethnic Armenian militia and the Armenian troops since a three-year war, which claimed over 30,000 lives, ended between the two sides in 1994 through mediation by Russia.

Last December, the Armenian Defense Ministry said the ceasefire deal was no longer in place, saying the current situation amounted to “war.”

Although the two countries are divided by a buffer zone, both sides have frequently accused one another of violating the ceasefire.

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