UNITED STATES—On Tuesday, October 27, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan to respect the U.S.-negotiated cease-fire in Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh).

Pompeo separately spoke with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, urging each to respect their commitments to cease hostilities. He stressed that “there is no military solution to this conflict.”

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, left, and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, right, at the 2020 Munich Security Conference. Feb. 15, 2020. Photo courtesy of the Press Office of the Government of Armenia.

The cease-fire, which was violated, was initially agreed on in Moscow on October 10 and reaffirmed in Paris on October 17.

On October 23, Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers brokered another cease-fire with Pompeo and U.S. National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien. A joint meeting was then held on October 24 with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun and U.S., Russian and French diplomats.

The U.S.-negotiated cease-fire was expected to take place at 8 a.m. on Monday, October 26. Within minutes, Azerbaijan accused Armenia of artillery attacks on the city of Tartar.

Armenia’s foreign ministry denied the Azerbaijani allegations. Artak Beglaryan, the human rights ombudsman of Artsakh, accused Azerbaijan of violating the cease-fire with a missile strike that killed one civilian and wounded two. 

Armenian Prime Minister Pashinyan initially tweeted: “Despite several provocations, the ceasefire is…maintained. The #Armenian side will continue to strictly adhere to the ceasefire regime.”

He tweeted: “I would like to state that the efforts of the international community, this time brokered by the #UnitedStates, to establish a ceasefire, have failed. As a result of continuous shelling by Azerbaijan, civilians were killed and wounded in #Artsakh today. @realDonaldTrump.”

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev tweeted: “This war is a Patriotic War for our people. We are liberating our Motherland’s territories from the occupiers, restoring historical justice on the battlefield.”

The Armenian Foreign Ministry reported that the Artsakh Defense Forces have suffered at least 963 casualties, 37 civilian deaths and 100 wounded.

The Azerbaijani military does not report military deaths. Azerbaijani authorities say there have been at least 65 civilization deaths and 300 wounded.

In a joint statement, the Minsk Group co-chairs (the United States, Russia and France) said that Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers have agreed to meet once again in Geneva on Thursday, October 29.

The meeting will aim to “reach agreement on, and begin implementation, in accordance with a timeline to be agreed upon, of all steps necessary to achieve a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in accordance with the basic principles accepted by the leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia.”

Written By Mariam Yeghikyan