News World

Azerbaijan urges Armenian separatists to lay down arms

Azerbaijan rejects Armenia peace talks planned in US

Azerbaijan said on Tuesday it was willing to meet Armenian representatives from the breakaway region of Karabakh for talks, but only if they laid down their arms and surrendered.

Baku launched a military operation against the Armenian-backed separatist region Tuesday, demanding Armenian forces withdraw from the mountainous territory as a precondition for peace.

“In order to stop the anti-terrorist measures, the illegal Armenian armed forces must raise the white flag, surrender all weapons, and the illegal regime must dissolve itself,” Azerbaijan’s presidency said.

It said it was willing to meet Armenian representatives in Yevlakh, an Azerbaijani town around 100 kilometres (60 miles) north of the separatist stronghold Stepanakert, but only if the separatists surrendered.

“Otherwise, the anti-terrorist measures will continue until the end,” it warned.

Armenian-backed separatists earlier urged Azerbaijan to start negotiations and cease hostilities.

“The (Karabakh) side calls the Azerbaijani side to immediately cease fire and sit at the negotiating table to address the situation,” the breakaway region’s foreign ministry said.

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said the Armenian army was not involved in the fighting and the situation on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan was “stable”.

The ex-Soviet Caucasus rivals have been locked in a decades-long dispute over Karabakh with large-scale hostilities breaking out in the 1990s and in 2020.

The fighting came just hours after Azerbaijan said four police officers and two civilians were killed in mine blasts in Nagorno-Karabakh, with authorities blaming separatists.

About the author


Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

Daily Newsletter