Azerbaijan announced its acceptance to participate alongside Armenia in a meeting in Washington on the Karabakh region crisis, amid Russian efforts to calm down, while the Azerbaijani army made great progress today, Tuesday, on the region’s front.
Hikmat Hajiyev, assistant to the President of Azerbaijan, confirmed his country’s participation in the meeting to which Armenia was invited in the United States next Friday.
In an exclusive interview with Al Jazeera, Hajiyev expressed his wishes that the meeting would result in Armenia’s call to withdraw from what he described as the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.
In addition to the US move, Russian President Vladimir Putin briefed his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron – during a telephone conversation between them – of the steps taken to prevent the further escalation of hostilities in the Karabakh region, and the resumption of negotiations as soon as possible to reach a political and diplomatic settlement.
In the call, the two presidents stressed the need for the warring parties to comply with the ceasefire agreements that were reached on the 10th and 17th of this month.
The members of the Security Council called during a closed meeting on Armenia and Azerbaijan to respect the new armistice.
A UN diplomat said all members stressed that the situation was bad, and that both sides should stand back and heed the Secretary-General’s calls for a ceasefire.
Diplomats indicated that Russia was working on issuing a statement calling for commitment to the ceasefire.
The draft statement – which council members is expected to agree on this week – calls on Armenia and Azerbaijan to resume negotiations sponsored by the Minsk Group.
On the field level, the Azerbaijani Ministry of Defense announced today, Tuesday, that two drones belonging to the Armenian forces were shot down near the village of Tap Karaghoyonlu and the city of Ganja.
The Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev also announced that his forces had destroyed the Russian-made S-300 system belonging to Armenia.
He added that his country’s army destroyed 50 armored vehicles and 241 tanks, and captured 39 others, in addition to destroying large quantities of ammunition, weapons and military equipment of the Armenian forces.
The Azerbaijani Ministry of Defense also published pictures of what it said were the destruction and targeting of Armenian forces in the direction of Kubadli.
In another development, the Ministry announced the raising of the flag in the center of the city of Zenglan in the vicinity of Karabakh, which it had retaken earlier Tuesday, to be the third city out of 7 cities occupied by Armenia.
According to Anadolu Agency, the death toll from the Armenian army attacks in the Azerbaijani regions had risen to more than 60 as of Tuesday.
For its part, the Armenian Ministry of Defense described the situation in Karabakh as relatively stable and tense, with fighting continuing in some areas, and violent fighting in the south near Iskhanadzor.
The spokesman for the President of the Karabakh region – which is not recognized internationally – confirmed that the Azeri forces had failed to advance north, indicating that they had suffered great losses in lives and equipment.
The Armenian Ministry of Defense also said that its forces killed 150 members of the Azerbaijani army and destroyed 12 armored vehicles.
The ministry released pictures of what it said were attacks on the sites of the Azerbaijani army, which it accused of targeting civilians and residential compounds in the city of Martoni and other towns.
Yerevan announced that 710 Armenian soldiers and 36 civilians were killed in the fighting, while Baku says that 60 Azerbaijani civilians were killed.