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Friday Oct 09 2020
Web Desk

Armenia, Azerbaijan accept President Vladimir Putin’s offer for talks

Web Desk
Local residents walk in a street after it was hit by a missile in Gandja, Azerbaijan, on October 8, 2020, near the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh province's capital Stepanakert. Photo: AFP

The clashes in the Nagorno-Karabakh region between Armenia and Azerbaijan may de-escalate after both the parties accepted President Vladimir Putin’s offer for talks in Moscow, said the Russian foreign ministry

“Baku and Yerevan confirmed their participation in talks in Moscow. Active preparation is under way,” Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova was quoted by the RIA news agency.

On the other hand, Armenian and Azerbaijan defence officials said clashes continued overnight Thursday to Friday and reported with rising civilian deaths.

Armenia sacks national security chief

A day earlier Armenia sacked its National Security Service head, Argishti Kyaramyan, amid the deadliest clashes with the arch-rival Azerbaijan, Interfax news agency reported citing a presidential decree.

The latest fighting between the two forces over the disputed region has killed over 350 since September 27. Under international law, Nagorno-Karabakh belongs to Azerbaijan but it is populated and governed by ethnic Armenians, who broke away in a 1991-94 war that killed about 30,000.

"I have signed a petition for the removal from office of the director of the NSS. A relevant decree will be signed [by the president of Armenia] in one or two days. This happened as a result of a series of discussions with the NSS director and upon mutual consent," Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said at a press conference.

Future work options have been discussed with Vanetsyan, the minister said, adding: "I think Mr. Vanetsyan will now concentrate on leading our national team into the European soccer championship's final.”

On the other hand, Vanetsyan released a statement, through the NSS press service, explaining reasons for his resignation.

"I have decided to submit a letter of resignation. In the current situation and in the context of future developments, I consider such a decision to be the most preferable and most substantiated way of serving Armenia and my people.”

“I also made this decision confidently, just as I did at the fateful moment for our country, when I agreed to take up the position of NSS Director. Over the past year and a half, I have worked openly, and every one of my steps was based on the sole principle of Motherland and an officer's honor being above all," the statement reads.

Amid fierce clashes, Armenia leaders said it was facing a 'historic threat' as the country reported heavy losses during the long-sought dispute at Nagorno-Karabakh region.