Armenia is holding large-scale military exercises in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone. Azerbaijani media reports that the focus of the drills is the Agdam region and that heavy artillery and armored vehicles are participating and that loud expolosions could be heard in surrounding districts.
Azerbaijan also reported cease fire violations overnight in the Kazakh, Jabryli and Khovandi regions.
Meanwhile as the two countries remain locked in a seemingly endless conflict their Foreign Ministers continue to push their respective agendas. Speaking in Baku after meeting with the visiting Israeli Foreign Minister, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov stressed that the Armenian armed forces must withdraw from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan to ensure the resolution of the conflict. Mammadyarov also reiterated that the conflict has to be settled within the framework of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan.
In Yerevan, addressing the Parliament of Armenia, Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian accused Azerbaijan of Armenophobia. "We are well aware that expressions of Armenophobia, intolerance and hate speech have become usual phenomenon in Azerbaijan" he said. According to the Armenian web portal news.am the Minister questioned not only the right of Azerbaijan to take over the Chairmanship of the Council of Europe this month, but its very membership of the organisation.
Menawhile efforts to try to resolve the conflict between the two countries continue. Earlier this week the co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Group countries, diplomats from Russia, France and the US, met in Warsaw to discuss a strategy of taking the process forward. It is not clear what this strategy will be since this process seems now to be once more grinding to a halt.
source commonspace.eu with additional reporting from Armenian and Azerbaijani media.
photo: Armenian troopps during military exercises (archive picture).
On the occasion of World Refugees Day, Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hikmet Haciev has issued a statement highlghting the plight of IDPs displaced by the Karabakh conflict.