Nagorno-Karabakh: Armenia and Azerbaijan officials give their verdict


Ethnic Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh need security guarantees before giving up their weapons, an adviser to their leader said on Thursday, a day after Azerbaijan declared it had brought the breakaway region back under its control.

“We have an agreement on the cessation of military action but we await a final agreement – talks are going on,” David Babayan, an adviser to Nagorno-Karabakh’s breakaway ethnic Armenian leader Samvel Shahramanyan, told Reuters news agency.

“We need to talk through a lot of many questions and issues. There has not been a final agreement yet,” he said.

When asked about giving up weapons, Babayan said his people could not be left to die, so would security guarantees first.

Karabakh Armenian authorities accused Azerbaijan of violating a ceasefire agreed on Wednesday after a lightning Azerbaijani offensive forced the separatists to agree to disarm.

Baku’s defence ministry said the allegation that its forces had broken the ceasefire was “completely false”.

Two sources in Stepanakert, the main city in the troubled region known as Khankendi by Azeris, told Reuters news agency they had heard heavy gunfire on Thursday morning, but it was not clear who was firing.

The claims came after delegations from the warring sides started talks in the Azeri city of Yevlakh.