Azerbaijan and Armenia signed on Monday (November 9th) under the aegis of Russia an agreement to end hostilities in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which marks Azerbaijani military victories after six weeks of deadly fighting.
“On November 9, the President of Azerbaijan (Ilham) Aliev, the Prime Minister of Armenia (Nikol) Pashinian and the President of the Russian Federation signed a declaration announcing a total ceasefire and the end of all military actions in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone ”, announced Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to a statement released Monday to Tuesday night to the media. According to him, the belligerents keep at the end of this agreement, which entered into force at 21 h 00 GMT Monday, “the positions which they occupy”.
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Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliev welcomed a “surrender” of Armenia. “I said we would chase (the Armenians) from our lands like dogs, and we did it,” he said, also calling the Armenian prime minister a “coward” for not having signed. the joint statement in front of cameras.
A “painful” initiative for Armenia
In a statement posted on his Facebook page, Nikol Pachinian said earlier that he “signed a declaration with the presidents of Russia and Azerbaijan on the end of the war in Karabakh”. He called this initiative “incredibly painful for me and for our people”.
Shortly after the announcement, a crowd of thousands of angry protesters gathered outside the Armenian government headquarters, with hundreds entering the premises, smashing windows and ransacking offices, including a boardroom. ministers. “Nikol is a traitor”, chanted the demonstrators in particular.
Since the end of September, the bloodiest fighting in nearly 30 years has pitted Armenian separatists from Nagorno-Karabakh against the Azerbaijani army. Azerbaijan intends to regain control of this province which has seceded, becoming de facto independent in the early 1990s and at the end of a war which left more than 30,000 dead.
At least 1,300 dead since the end of September
Populated today almost exclusively by Armenians, this territory was attached to Azerbaijan in Soviet times but is considered by both countries as an integral part of their histories.
The announcement of an end-of-hostilities agreement comes as Azerbaijani forces announced on Sunday that they had captured Shushi, a strategic town 15 kilometers from the separatist capital Stepanakert and located on the vital artery connecting the self-proclaimed republic to its Armenian godfather.
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The fall of this locality was considered a turning point in the war. On Monday, Armenia said the fighting was continuing there. “I took this decision (to sign the agreement) after an in-depth analysis of the military situation,” Nikol Pashinian said on Facebook, referring to Azerbaijani advances.
The conflict has killed at least 1,300 people since September 27, according to very partial reports, Azerbaijan never having announced its military losses. For weeks Russia and other powers had been trying to achieve a ceasefire, but three attempts failed each time just after the humanitarian truces took effect.