An Armenia – Azerbaijan ceasefire that came into effect early today across the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region was broken just minutes later with both sides accusing the other of various levels of disrespect for doing so.
The treaty had been announced in the U.S. capital Washington yesterday after the foreign ministers of both nations travelled to America in a bid to put an end to the most recent fighting over the region recognised as Azerbaijan by the international community, but largely occupied and run by ethnic Armenians.
It is the third ceasefire in recent weeks to have been broken soon after coming into effect.
The latest “humanitarian ceasefire” was supposed to come into effect at 0800 local time on Monday after the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun hosted Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, and Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov.
Just a few minutes after 0800 though, accusations started flying from both sides – Azerbaijan claiming the Armenians had shelled a town called and Terter, and Armenia saying the Azerbaijan military had artillery had attacked Armenian troops after 0800 local time.
Armenian President Nikol Pashinyan soon thereafter took to Facebook to say his troops “continue to strictly adhere to the ceasefire regime” – comments essentially reiterated from the other side with Azerbaijani presidential spokesman Hikmet Hajiyev saying “The Azerbaijani side is exercising restraint.”
More meetings are scheduled for later this week to help put an end to the fighting which began in late September.