YEREVAN (Sputnik) — The Nagorno-Karabakh Republic's (NKR) armed forces are ready to discuss a ceasefire with Azerbaijan, the NKR Ministry of Defense said on Sunday.
"The Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Army is ready to meet to discuss the proposal to enact a ceasefire within the context of restoring the original positions of the sides," the ministry said in a statement.
#Karabakh army is ready to discuss the offer to cease the fire in the context of restoring the initial positions.— Karabakh MOD (@Karabakh_MoD) 3 апреля 2016 г.
Earlier on Sunday, Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry said that the country had unilaterally halted all military operations in the breakaway region. This was later contradicted by reports of ongoing artillery fire exchanges between the sides.
The conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh began in 1988, when the Armenian-dominated autonomous region sought to secede from the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic, before proclaiming independence after the Soviet Union's collapse in 1991. In September 2015, the conflict escalated, with the sides blaming each other for breaching the truce.