With Russia’s mediation, Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed to a cease-fire in Nagorno-Karabakh starting at noon on Saturday following two weeks of heavy fighting that marked the worst outbreak of hostilities in the separatist region in a quarter-century.
The truce, backed by international mediators to put a stop to three weeks of fighting that has left hundreds dead, was supposed to have come into force at midnight Sunday but both sides immediately accused each other of violating the deal.
Armenia’s foreign ministry said on Friday it was ready to engage with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to re-establish a ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh, where fighting has been raging since Sunday.
A ceasefire in the mountain territory of Nagorno-Karabakh was under severe strain on Tuesday after new clashes between Azeri and ethnic Armenian forces in their deadliest fighting since the 1990s.
Armenian president Armen Sarkissian has left for Brussels to discuss the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with NATO and European Union officials, his office said on Wednesday.
The warring sides' foreign ministers then go to Washington for talks on Friday involving US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, which has raised hopes of a breakthrough.
They were among more than 850 combatants from pro-Ankara Syrian factions that Turkey has sent to fight for the Azeris since last week, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
New strikes followed by explosions on Sunday rocked Stepanakert, the main city of the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh, as clashes between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces raged for a week.
Armenia and Azerbaijan have confirmed that their foreign ministers will come for talks to Moscow, the RIA news agency cited Russia's foreign ministry as saying on Friday.
"It is extremely important that we convey a very clear message to all parties that they should cease fighting immediately, that we should support all efforts to find a peaceful, negotiated solution," Stoltenberg said during a visit to Turkey.