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Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Ready to Discuss Ceasefire With Azerbaijan

© Sputnik / Илья Питалев / Go to the photo bankSoldiers of the army of self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic
Soldiers of the army of self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic - Sputnik International
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The Nagorno-Karabakh Republic is ready to discuss a ceasefire with Baku provided the opposing sides would withdraw their forces to the positions they had held before the conflict escalated.

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.

​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.

Footage of Downed Azerbaijani helicopter Mi-24 in Nagorno-Karabakh - Sputnik International
Azerbaijani Mi-24 Chopper Shot Down in Nagorno-Karabakh
On April 2, Azerbaijan and Armenia reported intensified fighting in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region. The sides accused each other of violating the ceasefire agreement which had been in place since 1994.

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.

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