By Nailia Bagirova and Nvard Hovhannisyan
BAKU/YEREVAN (Reuters) – Hopes of ending almost a month of bloodshed within the mountain enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh had been receding on Thursday as Azeri and ethnic Armenian forces fought new battles on the eve of talks in Washington.
Plans for U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to satisfy the international ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia on Friday raised hopes this week that the 2 former Soviet republics would agree to finish their deadliest preventing because the mid-Nineteen Nineties.
However these hopes have been dented by the continued heavy preventing in and round Nagorno-Karabakh, a breakaway territory which is inside Azerbaijan however managed by ethnic Armenians, and by offended rhetoric from either side.
Armenia’s prime minister mentioned on Wednesday he might see no diplomatic decision of the long-running battle at this stage. Azerbaijan’s president mentioned on Tuesday his nation would reclaim Nagorno-Karabakh by power. [nL8N2HC4KB]
Lots of of individuals have been killed since preventing flared on Sept. 27, elevating fears of a wider battle drawing in Turkey and Russia and growing issues in regards to the safety of pipelines in Azerbaijan that carry Azeri fuel and oil by the South Caucasus to world markets.
Russia has brokered two ceasefires since Sept. 27 however neither has held.
Azerbaijan’s defence ministry reported preventing in a number of areas on Thursday, together with territories near the road of contact that divides the edges.
It additionally mentioned Armenia had fired three ballistic missiles at three areas inside Azerbaijan however Armenia mentioned this was “full nonsense and a cynical lie.”
The Armenian defence ministry reported preventing in a number of areas, and Nagorno-Karabakh officers mentioned the city of Martuni and close by villages within the enclave had been shelled.
POMPEO SEEKS BREAKTHROUGH
Azerbaijan desires to regain management of Nagorno-Karabakh earlier than it agrees to finish preventing. Armenia says it won’t permit this and accuses Azerbaijan of constructing a land seize within the latest preventing.
Azeri President Ilham Aliyev mentioned this month he believed there was a navy resolution to the battle and his aide Hikmet Hajiyev mentioned on Wednesday Azerbaijan didn’t anticipate any breakthrough on the talks in Washington.
Azeri forces, bolstered in recent times by elevated navy spending and the acquisition of weapons from Turkey, say they’ve made territorial features within the newest preventing although Nagorno-Karabakh says its forces have repulsed repeated assaults.[nL5N2GM2BB][nL1N2H505N]
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan underlined how far aside the edges are on Wednesday, saying: “Every part that’s diplomatically acceptable to the Armenian facet … is just not acceptable to Azerbaijan any extra.”
Pashinyan had beforehand mentioned that Armenia was prepared for talks based mostly on mutual concessions and an answer acceptable to all sides of the battle.
Pompeo mentioned on Wednesday he nonetheless hoped a diplomatic resolution could possibly be discovered and underlined that the “proper path ahead is to stop the battle, inform them to de-escalate, that each nation ought to keep out.”
Turkey has mentioned it won’t hesitate to ship troopers and supply navy help for Azerbaijan if such a request is made by its shut ally. Russia has a defence pact with Armenia however Pashinyan has mentioned he doesn’t advocate Russian navy involvement within the battle.
(Extra reporting by Margarita Antidze in Tblisi, Writing by Timothy Heritage, Enhancing by William Maclean)
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