UN Security Council Called on Armenia and Azerbaijan to Respect a New Ceasefire in Karabakh

United Nations Security Council members called on Armenia and Azerbaijan to respect a new ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh during a meeting on the disputed region on October 19, AFP reports.

During the closed-door meeting, which was requested by France, Russia and the United States, the council’s 15 members reiterated a plea by UN chief Antonio Guterres for parties to honor a new ceasefire.

“Everyone was saying the same thing: the situation is bad and both sides need to pull back and heed the Secretary-General’s calls for a ceasefire,” a UN diplomat told AFP.

The full text is expected to be agreed between council members this week. It will also call on both sides to resume negotiations within the framework of the Minsk Group.

The Minsk Group, co-chaired by Russia, France, and the US, was created by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in 1992 to spearhead efforts for a peaceful solution in the Karabakh conflict.

The renewed fighting between the sides began on September 27, following an Azerbaijani offensive, backed by artillery fire and precision drone strikes. The New York Times reports that while Armenia’s limited air defenses have failed to stop the drones, but its troops, bolstered by volunteers and conscripts, have slowed the Azerbaijani advance. The use of Syrian mercenaries, deployed by Turkey to Azerbaijan, has added a new layer of security issues in the region.

The first UNSC closed-door meeting on the renewed fighting took place on Sept. 30.

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