Fighting Rages in Nagorno-Karabakh on Eve of US Talks

  • Fighting Rages in Nagorno-Karabakh on Eve of US Talks

Fighting Rages in Nagorno-Karabakh on Eve of US Talks

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow believed that almost 5,000 people had been killed in fighting between Azerbaijan and ethnic Armenian forces over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. The enclave has also reported 37 civilians killed.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday held separate talks with his Armenian and Azeri counterparts to try to bring an end to the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh.

The collapse of two Russia-brokered ceasefires has also dimmed hopes of a quick end to fighting that broke out on September 27 over Nagorno-Karabakh, a breakaway territory which is within Azerbaijan but is controlled by ethnic Armenians.

Russian Federation has been in the forefront of diplomacy between the two former Soviet republics.

This number is much higher than the number of deaths announced by the two warring parties.

"There are a lot of casualties on both sides, more than 2,000 on each side", Putin told a meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club. After four weeks of fighting and nearly 1,000 reported killed, hopes for a diplomatic solution are fading. Azerbaijan hasn't disclosed its military losses, but says 63 civilians have been killed and 292 have been wounded.

Small groups of rival protesters backing Armenia and Azerbaijan confronted one another with slogans and signs outside the State Department, with a Diplomatic Security officer in a mask standing between them.

Nagorno-Karabakh lies within Azerbaijan but has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since a war there ended in 1994.

"It is at that point that a diplomatic solution that would be acceptable to all can potentially be achieved".

Putin referred to the incompatibility with Turkey regarding the ongoing conflict, adding that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan "may sound harsh, but he is a flexible politician and a reliable partner for Russian Federation".

The US, Russia and France, who have long led mediation efforts, have so far ignored demands for a Turkish role.

The two sides traded accusations involving the shelling of residential areas, and authorities in Nagorno-Karabakh said the town of Martakert and several villages in the Martuni region were struck by Azerbaijani rockets.

Hikmet Hajiyev's comments come in the wake of Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan saying that he saw no possibility of a diplomatic solution at this stage in the conflict with Azerbaijan.

Armenians regard occupied-Karabakh as part of their historic homeland and accuse Azerbaijan of making a land grab in the recent fighting.