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Karabakh Armenians: no agreement yet with Azerbaijan on guarantees or amnesty

Russian peacekeepers evacuate civilians in Nagorno-Karabakh

A view shows civilians evacuated by Russian peacekeepers following Azerbaijani armed forces’ offensive operation in Nagorno-Karabakh, a region inhabited by ethnic Armenians, in an unknown location in Nagorno-Karabakh, in this still image from video published September 21, 2023. Russian Defence Ministry/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo Acquire Licensing Rights

MOSCOW, Sept 22 (Reuters) – The ethnic Armenian leadership of breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh said on Friday that there were no concrete results yet from talks with Azerbaijan on possible security guarantees or an amnesty that Baku is proposing.

“These questions must still be resolved,” David Babayan, an adviser to Samvel Shahramanyan, the president of the self-styled Republic of Artsakh, told Reuters. “There are no concrete results yet.”

Azerbaijan mounted a lightning offensive this week and declared it had restored sovereignty over Karabakh, whose ethnic Armenian population broke away in a war in the 1990s.

It envisages an amnesty for Karabakh Armenian fighters who give up their arms although some have vowed to continue their resistance, an Azerbaijani presidential adviser told Reuters.

Babayan said agreement had been reached for an humanitarian convoy to arrive on Friday via the road that connects Armenia to Karabakh, which Azerbaijan has effectively blockaded for more than nine months.

“The situation is difficult – humanitarian questions need to be resolved. Agreement has been reached for a humanitarian convoy to come from Armenia via the Lachin corridor,” Babayan said.

Asked whether or not the Armenians of Karabakh were on the move, Babayan said there was no large-scale movement of people as the region was effectively under siege.

“The Lachin corridor does not work as it should,” he said. “At the present time, other questions need to be resolved.”

“The situation is very difficult: the people are hungry, there is no electricity, no fuel – we have many refugees.”

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Mark Trevelyan

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