Politics, World, Europe

US says it hopes Karabakh cease-fire 'comes to fruition'

'We certainly hope that that comes to fruition, and the violence stops,' says White House

Michael Hernandez  | 21.09.2023 - Update : 21.09.2023
US says it hopes Karabakh cease-fire 'comes to fruition'


The White House voiced hope Wednesday that a nascent ceasefire to halt hostilities in Azerbaijan's Karabakh takes hold and averts further violence.

"We're getting some preliminary reports that there could be a ceasefire in the offing. We certainly hope that that comes to fruition, and the violence stops, and the humanitarian situation isn't worsened," national security spokesman John Kirby told reporters.

"We have repeatedly emphasized that the use of force is absolutely unacceptable, runs counter to efforts to create the conditions for peace in the region," he added.

Earlier on Wednesday, Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry said an agreement had been reached to implement a cease-fire in Karabakh as of 1 p.m. local time.

It said the Armenian armed forces stationed in the region, as well as illegal armed groups, must lay down their arms, leave their combat positions, and leave the territory of Azerbaijan as part of the deal.

Their weapons and heavy equipment should be removed from Karabakh, and all processes be carried out in coordination with the Russian peacekeeping mission, it said.

Separately, the Azerbaijani presidency said President Ilham Aliyev will meet representatives of the Karabakh Armenian community in the town of Yevlak on Thursday to discuss reintegration processes.

Relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.

In the fall of 2020, Azerbaijan liberated several cities, villages and settlements from Armenian occupation during 44 days of clashes. The war ended with a Russia-brokered cease-fire, and began a process of normalization between the ex-Soviet republics.

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