Russian President Vladimir Putin called on the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan on Friday to visit Moscow for negotiations, while Azerbaijan announced that it had achieved field gains, and confirmed its refusal to stop the fighting before Armenia’s withdrawal from the disputed Karabakh region.
The Kremlin said in a statement that “on October 9, the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia were invited to visit Moscow for consultations,” with the mediation of the Russian Foreign Ministry.
The statement clarified that the aim is to “stop the fighting” in order to exchange prisoners and the bodies of dead soldiers in particular.
“The President of Russia calls for an end to the fighting in Nagorny Karabakh for humanitarian reasons, with the aim of exchanging the bodies of the dead and prisoners,” the statement said.
He indicated that Putin held talks with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.
“Baku and Yerevan have confirmed their participation in the Moscow consultations,” Agence France-Presse quoted a spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, adding that “preparations are underway” for the talks expected later Friday.
A meeting in Geneva
In the same context, the parties of the Misank Group are scheduled to meet with Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jihon Permov in Geneva on Friday, and the group includes Russia, the United States and France.
The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry announced that “the aim of the visit is to present the position of Azerbaijan on the settlement of the conflict.”
Paris expressed its hope that the Geneva and Moscow meetings would lead to “opening negotiations.”
On the ground, Azerbaijan announced field gains in the Karabakh region, and stressed its refusal to stop the fighting before the withdrawal of the Armenian forces.
The spokesman for the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry, Anar Iwazov, confirmed that his country’s army “has not withdrawn from any area that it liberated from the Armenian occupation, and that everything is going according to the plan of the operation,” stressing that the operation will continue until the liberation is resolutely completed.
Iwazov indicated that his country’s army destroyed an Armenian military convoy, and destroyed 10 tanks, 6 “D-20” artillery (D-20), a howitzer, and 30 military vehicles.
And he indicated that the defeated Armenian forces resorted to bombing the governorates of Goran Boy, Tatar, and Aghdam, and Iggha Badi and Bardi with missiles, which led to civilian casualties.
The Ministry of Defense published new aerial scenes, showing that its forces targeted Armenian tanks and armored vehicles, as it is clear from the pictures that the Armenian tanks and armored vehicles were hidden by disguise means, and the Al-Jazeera correspondent quoted Armenian military sources as saying that the Azerbaijani bombing has renewed on Stepanakert, the capital of the region and in its vicinity.
In the city of Shusha, the bombing hit a cathedral bearing historical symbolism for the Armenians, causing some journalists to be injured.
The Azeri army denied bombing the site, stressing that it did not target “historical and cultural buildings and monuments, especially religious ones,” accusing the separatists of “targeting populated areas.”
On the other hand, the Ministry of Defense of the Nagorno Karabakh region, which is not recognized internationally, reported the renewed fighting between its forces and the Azerbaijani army on the various axes of fighting, especially in the southern and northern axes, referring to what it considered a decline in the activity of the Azeri forces.
Earlier, the Armenian Ministry of Defense said that the Azerbaijani army tried to launch an attack on the city of Gabriel (south of Nagorno Karabakh), and that the regional forces repelled the attack and killed 20 soldiers, and pushed those forces to withdraw.
For his part, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan renewed his support for Azerbaijan, saying that the solution to the Nagorno Karabakh region lies in ending the Armenian occupation, considering that this problem “has turned into gangrene over 30 years, due to Armenia’s arrogant and rigid position.”
Erdogan stressed Turkey’s continued support for Azerbaijan in its legitimate struggle to regain its occupied lands.
As for Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, during his participation in the inauguration ceremony of an armed training ship for the Qatari Navy, he said that Armenia is committing war crimes by targeting women, children and civilians, and that the Azerbaijani army is able to protect its lands without anyone’s help or interference.