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Joe Biden calls for urgent de-escalation in Nagorno-Karabakh

News Agencies | Updated on: 28 September 2020, 8:19 IST

US Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has expressed concern over the flare-up of tensions in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

"I am deeply concerned by the outbreak of hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh and call for urgent de-escalation, restoring the ceasefire, and a resumption of negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan," Biden said in a Sunday statement.

He warned that the escalation of hostilities could lead to a larger regional conflict and called for third parties not to get involved while the Minsk Group tries to get the conflicting sides to the negotiating table.

"The Trump administration also needs to step up its diplomatic efforts, together with fellow OSCE [Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe] Minsk Group co-chairs France and Russia, to seek a peaceful resolution and to support confidence-building measures, Biden said.

US President Donald Trump told reporters at the White House on Sunday that Washington was looking into what could be done to stop military hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh.

"We are looking at it very strongly. We have a lot of good relationships in that area, we'll see if we can stop it," Trump said.

Military hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan erupted along the contact line in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region on Sunday morning, with each side blaming the other for putting civilian lives in danger.

Spokesperson of the president of the unrecognized breakaway Republic of Artsakh, also known as Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, Vahram Poghosyan, said on Sunday that the city of Stepanakert had been shelled.

A spokesperson of Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry told Sputnik on Sunday that Armenia's armed forces opened fire at settlements along the line of contact in the Nagorno-Karabakh region at around 06:00 [02:00 GMT] on Sunday. According to the spokesperson, at least six settlements came under attack and there were dead and wounded among the local population.


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First published: 28 September 2020, 8:19 IST