Armenia and Azerbaijan accused each other of violating the terms of a ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh immediately after the deal was supposed to take effect at noon on Saturday local time.
After two weeks of fighting, Baku and Yerevan on Friday agreed to a temporary truce after talks in Moscow. The ceasefire was meant to stop fighting to allow the warring parties to swap prisoners and war dead.
The talks were the first diplomatic contact between Azerbaijan and Armenia since fighting over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region erupted on Sept. 27, killing hundreds of people.
But, within minutes of the truce taking effect, both sides accused each other of breaking it.
The Armenian military accused Azerbaijan of shelling an Armenian town and killing one civilian. Armenia’s Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan called the alleged attacks “heinous aggression”.
The Azeri military, in turn, accused Armenia of launching missile strikes and attempting offensives in the Agdere-Terter and the Fizuli-Jabrail areas.
(All times local Turkish time, GMT+3)
22:30- Armenian Foreign Ministry condemns Turkey over occupation remarks
The Armenian Foreign Ministry has condemned Turkey over a statement issued by its Turkish counterpart on Sunday, denouncing Armenia over its attack of Ganja.
A rocket attack on Azerbaijan’s second-largest city is part of “Armenia’s illegal occupation’’ and its disregard of humane international law, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement issued earlier on Sunday.
“Turkey has been sponsoring Azerbaijan’s information and political campaign aimed at undermining the provisions of the agreement on the cessation of hostilities,’’ the Armenian ministry said.
“We strongly condemn Turkey’s provocative policy in our region, and value the cooperation of all forces interested in the stability of the region,’’ it added.
22:15 – Turkish parliamentary speaker says Armenia’s ceasefire-breaking a ‘global issue’
The Turkish parliament speaker Mustafa Şentop on Sunday criticized Armenia for what he called truce breaching attacks on settlements in Azerbaijan.
“These attacks are a war crime because they directly target civilians,” Şentop said on Twitter, calling for a trial over the violation.
“Armenia is now a global issue,’’ he added.
Şentop’s remarks follow accusations from Azerbaijan that Armenia is violating a ceasefire in the former’s second-largest city of Ganja.
17:45 – Aliyev accuses Armenia of war crime, violating ceasefire
Azeri President Ilham Aliyev has accused Armenia of violating a ceasefire and committing a war crime in Ganja, the country’s second-largest city.
“Armenia has blatantly violated the ceasefire regime and launched a missile attack on innocent residents in the city of Ganja,’’ Aliyev said on Twitter. “This is a war crime and gross violation of the Geneva Conventions.’’
Azeri authorities have said overnight shelling by Armenian forces on the city have left seven people dead and 33 wounded.
Aliyev also said the attack on Ganja was a disrespect to Russia’s mediation in the conflict.
16:40 – Lavrov to Ankara: ‘The articles of the Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire should be applied’
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov spoke by phone with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavuşoğlu, according to Sputnik Tukey. Lavrov conveyed to his counterpart Çavuşoğlu that Moscow is ready to continue its mediation efforts on Karabakh.
Lavrov also pointed out that the articles of the statement agreed upon by the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan should be implemented.
After a summit of the Minsk Group (the U.S., Russia and France) in Moscow on Friday, a temporary ceasefire was declared in order for the parties to exchange prisoners and hold funerals. However, despite this, violations have continued.
16:00 – Aliyev accuses Russia of arming, protecting Armenia
Russia has been supplying Armenia with weapons and ensuring its safety in the country’s conflict with Azerbaijan over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Azeri President Ilham Aliyev said.
“Russia is arming Yerevan for free. Moscow is ensuring Armenia’s safety,’’ T24 news site cited Aliyev as telling Russian RBK TV.
Russia, which has a military base in Armenia, brokered a ceasefire deal between the two sides that went into effect on Saturday.
15:20 – Turkey urges Russia to press Armenia for ceasefire compliance
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu asked his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, to press Armenia to abide by the terms of a Russian-brokered truce in Nagorno-Karabakh, state-run Anadolu news agency reported.
The two sides agreed to a ceasefire starting on Saturday, but immediately accused each other of violating the deal geared to end the worst outbreak of hostilities in the separatist region in decades.
Armenian Defence Ministry Spokesman Artsrun Hovhannisyan said that Turkish aircraft, operating in Turkish airspace, are directing Turkish-made drones being used by Azerbaijan to target positions in Nagorno-Karabakh.
“Drones, under the cover of six F-16s, that is, escorts, are striking the civilian population and infrastructure of Artsakh,” Hovhannisyan said.
09:45 – Azerbaijan says Armenia’s overnight shelling on Ganja kills seven civilians
Azeri authorities said an overnight shelling by Armenian forces on Ganja, the second-largest Azeri city, had left seven people dead and 33 wounded, state-run Anadolu news agency reported.
The reports of shelling came a day after a Russian-brokered ceasefire between the two countries had been due to take effect.
21:20 – Minsk Group co-chairs laud ceasefire, urge sides to maintain commitment
The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group have issued a joint statement welcoming the joint announcement of ceasefire by Azerbaijan and Armenia in the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh.
Igor Popov of the Russian Federation, Stephane Visconti of France and Andrew Schofer of the United States called on the sides to execute their commitments in full in addition to providing the necessary logistical and security assurances in full.
18:40 – Çavuşoğlu reiterates Turkey’s support for Azerbaijan in call with Azeri counterpart
Turkey’s foreign minister reiterated to his Azerbaijani counterpart Ankara’s support for Baku in its conflict with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh.
Mevlüt Cavusoglu and Jeyhun Bayramov discussed the trilateral meeting held between the foreign ministers of Russia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia in Moscow on Friday, state-run Anadolu news agency reported.
15:15 – France praises Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire, calls it first step
France hailed the Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire agreement, but said it had to be fully implemented to ensure a permanent end to hostilities, Reuters reported.
“It must now be implemented and strictly observed in order to create the conditions for a permanent cessation of hostilities between the two countries,” French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Agnes von der Muhll said in a statement on Saturday, according to the news agency,
“Substantial discussions, to which the parties have engaged under the aegis of the co-chairs of the Minsk group, must resume without preconditions.”