- The Washington Times - Monday, October 5, 2020

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg is calling for a cease-fire between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces as clashes over the disputed enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh rage on.

Armenia on Monday accused Azerbaijan of launching missiles into the disputed territory, while Azerbaijan said Armenian forces have attacked “densely populated civilian areas.”

“We are deeply concerned by the escalation of hostilities,” Mr. Stoltenberg said during a press conference with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. “All sides should immediately cease fighting and find a way forward towards a peaceful resolution.”

The long-frozen Eastern European conflict has exploded into a hot war in recent weeks, with clashes killing dozens of people and threatening to drag nearby Turkey and Russia into a direct military confrontation.

While Moscow has long backed Christian Armenia and Ankara has openly supported the largely Muslim Azerbaijan, regional analysts say the situation has grown more complex and dangerous recently amid escalating Turkey-Russia tension on other fronts — from Syria to Libya and the wider Eastern Mediterranean.

The NATO chief called on Turkey to use its “considerable influence” in the region to “calm tensions.”

Mr. Cavusoglu, meanwhile, suggested the alliance should approach the situation “in a balanced fashion.”

“Everyone, particularly NATO, should call on Armenia to withdraw in order for there to be a solution to this problem within the frame of international law,” Mr. Cavusoglu said.

• Lauren Toms can be reached at lmeier@washingtontimes.com.

Copyright © 2023 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide