STEPANAKERT (Combined Sources) — Karabakh and Azerbaijan have agreed on a bilateral ceasefire along the line of contact, which came into force at noon local time on April 5.
Senor Hasratyan, a spokesman for the Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Army, told Armenian media that the cessation of hostilities followed successful operations by the Armenian military to regain control of the lost ground. He did not elaborate.
NKR President’s Spokesperson David Babayan confirmed the news and added that the situation at the frontline is currently calm. “The military actions of the past days have not changed the military balance in the region,” Babayan said.
The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry also confirmed that military operations had been stopped along the “line of contact” that effectively serves as a front line separating the combatant sides.
The apparent breakthrough comes with increasingly strident international calls for restraint between forces loyal to regional archenemies Azerbaijan and Armenia, which have been locked in conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh since the waning years of the Soviet Union.
The announcement comes with diplomats from the OSCE Minsk Group of mediators in the conflict — France, Russia, and the United States — expected to meet in Vienna later on April 5 for crisis talks.
Earlier in Paris, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said Washington, Paris, and Moscow would send envoys to Azerbaijan, Armenia, and to Nagorno-Karabakh in a bid to resolve the conflict.
Ayrault was speaking after talks with his German counterpart, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who said the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) would send a fact-finding mission to Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Nagorno-Karabakh.