Karabakh War Is Over; Armenia Agrees To Withdraw Forces

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Baku: Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia signed an agreement on Tuesday to end six weeks of fierce fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh in a deal Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashin­yan described as “unspeakably painful” in an emotional Face­book post.

The post was the first indi­cation of a deal, with Pashinyan saying the agreement would take effect from 1am on Tues­day (21:00 GMT on Monday) to end a conflict that has left at least 1,000 people dead.

The deal was later con­firmed by Azerbaijan and the Kremlin.

“The signed trilateral state­ment will become a (crucial) point in the settlement of the conflict,” Azerbaijan’s Presi­dent Ilham Aliyev said in a tele­vised online meeting with Rus­sian President Vladimir Putin.

The agreement came hours after ethnic Armenian officials in the disputed region con­firmed that the key city of Shu­sha (known as Shushi in Arme­nia

the second-biggest city in the enclave, had been taken by Azeri forces. Azerbaijan also said on Monday it had taken dozens more settlements.

Describing the decision as “unspeakably painful for me personally and for our people”, Pashinyan said the agreement followed “an in-depth analysis of the military situation” that has seen Azeri forces closing in on Stepanakert, the region’s main city.

He said the agreement was “the best possible solution to the current situation”.

Peacekeepers brought in

In Azerbaijan, meanwhile, Aliyev said the agreement was “historic” and that Armenia had been forced to negotiate be­cause of Azerbaijan’s military successes.

“This statement has his­toric significance,” he wrote on Twitter. “This statement constitutes Armenia’s capitu­lation. This statement puts an end to the years-long occupa­tion. This statement is our Glorious Victory!”

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