Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed to refrain from deliberately targeting civilians in a conflict over the mountain enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, where hundreds have been killed in more than a month of fighting.
The agreement, which falls short of what would have been a fourth ceasefire, was reached during talks in Geneva between the countries’ foreign ministers and envoys from France, Russia and the United States, co-chairs of the group created to mediate.
The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group said in a statement that Armenia and Azerbaijan had also agreed to exchange the bodies of fighters and to provide within a week lists of detained prisoners of war, with the aim of an eventual exchange.
Human rights groups called earlier for an immediate halt to the use of banned weapons by both sides after confirming the use of cluster munitions either fired or supplied by Armenian forces in an attack this week on the Azeri city of Barda.
Earlier, Azerbaijan and Armenia agreed to the ceasefire regime three times but they were disrupted within a month. The talks took place in Geneva, Moscow and Washington.
On September 27, the Azerbaijani side fired at settlements, as well as military units in Karabakh. Then the motorized rifle and tank subdivisions of the Azerbaijani army went on the offensive in the northern, southern, and southeastern directions. The Armenian government has declared martial law in the country.
On October 10 and on October 17, Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan reached an agreement on a temporary ceasefire in the conflict in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region. The deal was made during consultations in Moscow, with the mediation of the Russian Foreign Ministry. However, the ceasefire was violated numerously.
Meanwhile, Armenia and Azerbaijan accuse each other of the violation of the new humanitarian ceasefire regime during the combat actions over Nagorno-Karabakh the next day after the achieving agreement.