Two days after an Armenian-backed attack on neighboring Azerbaijan that resulted in 10 dead and 17 wounded, the conflicting sides in their bloody territorial dispute have opened ceasefire talks in Oslo.
Azerbaijan, whose troops lost a substantial number of their men in the fighting, has scheduled four more meetings in Oslo on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. The truce began just after midnight on Monday.
More than 200 people, including almost 50 Azeri soldiers, have been killed in the conflict since 1993, which arose after Azerbaijan declared independence from the former Soviet Union.
In a statement following the start of the second round of the latest round of talks, President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan stated, “We want to see the parties’ commitment to the Caspian Power line ceasefire commission.”
“I hope that both sides will resume direct negotiations and agree to re-launch peacekeeping operations in order to stop the bloodshed,” Mr. Aliyev continued.
Mr. Aliyev said last week’s attack, which took place in a small mountain enclave, was “based on external provocation,” while Armenia blamed Azeri forces. On Tuesday, Mr. Aliyev pointed out that the next round of talks will be co-chaired by two former presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan, Ramiz Mammadov and Robert Kocharian.