The United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on October 13 called on Armenia and Azerbaijan to implement a ceasefire and stop targetting civilian areas amid the ongoing conflict in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Pompeo said that the United States remains committed to a "peaceful settlement" while condemning the loss of human life in Ganja and Stepanakert.
The United States calls on Azerbaijan and Armenia to implement their commitments to a ceasefire as agreed and cease targeting civilian areas, such as Ganja and Stepanakert. We deplore the loss of human life and remain committed to a peaceful settlement.— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) October 13, 2020
Armenia and Azerbaijan are fighting each other in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region since September 27. The skirmishes had started in July this year, but the clashes escalated late last month following which both countries declared martial law. The disputed region where the clashes are happening are ethnically Armenian, but is controlled by Azerbaijan and is also internationally recognised as Azerbaijani territory.
Armenia and Azerbaijan have been fighting over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region since 1988. In 1994 a Russia-brokered ceasefire agreement was signed between both the countries, but numerous violations have occurred since then. Armenia has accused foreign players such as Turkey of helping the Azeri side in the ongoing conflict. Turkey, however, has dismissed all allegations of interference.
The international community, including the United Nations and European Union, have urged both Azerbaijan and Armenia to resolve the issue peacefully and cease the fighting immediately. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had requested Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan to immediately take steps to establish a ceasefire and start negotiations in order to prevent a major conflict from breaking out in the region. However, the conflict is far from dying out as both countries remain determined to claim victory.