Republic of Artsakh falls to Azerbaijan

Through the mediation of the command of the Russian peacekeeping contingent stationed in the breakaway enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan and leaders of the self-declared Republic of Artsakh reached an agreement on a cessation of hostilities Sept. 20. The ceasefire went into effect 24 hours after Azerbaijan launched an assault on Artsakh, taking the territory that had been held by ethnic Armenian separatists since 1991. The agreement calls for the disbanding of the Artsakh Defense Army, and the removal of Armenian military forces from the peacekeeping zone that has linked the enclave to Armenia. The military operation claimed some 30 lives, including at least seven ethnic Armenian civilians. (Armenian Weekly)

High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell said in a statement: "The European Union condemns the military operation by Azerbaijan against the Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh and deplores the casualties and loss of life caused by this escalation... Azerbaijan bears the responsibility to ensure the rights and security of the Karabakh Armenians, including their right to live in their homes without intimidation and discrimination. Forced displacement of the civilian population through military or other means will be met with a strong response by the EU." (ArmenPress)