UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomed the joint statement on Sunday by the United States, Armenia and Azerbaijan announcing that a previously reached humanitarian cease-fire agreement will take effect at 8 a.m. local time (0400 GMT) on Monday, said his spokesman.
Guterres commended the facilitation efforts of the United States, with the support of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group Co-Chairs, said Stephane Dujarric, the spokesman, in a statement. The cease-fire agreement was reached in Moscow on October 10 and reaffirmed in Paris on October 17.
The secretary-general reiterated his appeal to the parties to fully implement their agreement without delay based on this understanding and to resume substantive negotiations without preconditions under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs — representatives from France, Russia and the United States, said the statement.
Guterres also called on the parties to allow safe and unimpeded access to humanitarian workers and the delivery of humanitarian assistance and services to civilians in and around the Nagorno-Karabakh region, it said. The secretary-general expected the parties to abide by all their commitments and to work jointly together with the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs to take concrete steps toward a peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, said the statement.
Armenia and Azerbaijan have been at loggerheads over the mountainous region of Nagorno-Karabakh since 1988. Peace talks have been held since 1994 when a cease-fire was reached, but there have been sporadic minor clashes. A new round of armed conflict broke out along the contact line on September 27. (ANI/Xinhua)