Moscow: After nearly two weeks of stern clashes, the tension between Armenia and Azerbaijan is being de-escalated as both the countries on Saturday agreed to a ceasefire to begin talks over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh.
The brutal clashes and use of heavy artillery in the central Asian while claiming hundreds of lives forced thousands to flee amid stirred fears of the declaration of full war after both the countries had declared martial law in their respective countries.
According to AFP, Moscow and International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) mediated the talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan for 11 hours after which both the countries agreed to a ceasefire.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that both sides agreed to a ceasefire on October 10 on humanitarian grounds adding that the parties would exchange bodies and prisoners.
Lavrov told the reporters that Azerbaijan and Armenia initiated substantive negotiations aiming at achieving a peaceful settlement, adding that such talks would be mediated by France, Russia and the US.
The latest conflict over Karabakh so far claimed some 400 lives and forced thousands of people from their homes, according to AFP.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, who had repeatedly vowed the use of its force to retake the disputed region, said that the talks were a historic opportunity for Armenia, adding that this was last chance for Armenia to resolve the matter peacefully.
Armenia Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said that he was ready for the peace process with the involvement of international brokers.
The armed conflict had stoked fears in the West of a full war involving Turkey, which strongly backs Azerbaijan, and Russia’s ally Armenia. Since the latest conflict, the first high-level talk between both parties took place after Putin called for an end to hostilities and invited foreign ministers of both countries to the city.