Nagorno-Karabakh conflict: Yerevan and Baku agree to cease-fire

Understanding reached overnight with Russian mediation.  It will favor the exchange of prisoners and the bodies of victims.  "Concrete" discussions are expected for a peace agreement.  The approximate death toll speaks of 300-400 dead and 70 thousand displaced.


Moscow (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Armenia and Azerbaijan have agreed on a temporary ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh, an Armenian enclave in Azerbaijani territory, the scene of fierce fighting between the Baku military and the local separatist government since September 27.  The agreement, signed in the Russian capital, was reached early in the morning by the foreign ministers of the two countries in conflict.

The agreement will start from 12.00 (Moscow time).  With the help of the International Committee of the Red Cross, it will promote the exchange of prisoners and the bodies of victims.  According to the document, Yerevan and Baku have both pledged to initiate "concrete" discussions for a peace agreement, mediated by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Since the beginning of the hostilities, unleashed by the Azeris, official reports speak of 300-400 deaths, of which at least 50 civilians.  But the number is clearly partial: Azerbaijan does not report its military losses, although - like the Armenians - it claims to have eliminated thousands of enemy soldiers.

Yerevan and Baku accuse each other of firing on civilian targets: currently 70,000 are displaced in Karabakh, half of the local population.