UN chief calls for an immediate end to Armenia, clashes in Azerbaijan

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The UN chief said he was “extremely concerned about the resumption of hostilities”.

United Nations, United States:

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Sunday he was “extremely concerned about the resumption of hostilities” between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the Armenia-backed breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

“The Secretary-General urges the sides to stop fighting immediately, relieve tension and immediately return to meaningful negotiations,” Guterres’ spokesman said in a statement.

Arch enemies Armenia and Azerbaijan have accused each other of sparking clashes on Sunday in which at least 23 people were killed and regional powers threatened to attract Russia and Turkey.

The worst clashes since 2016 have awakened the specter of a new war in the decades-long territorial dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh.

Sixteen Armenian separatists were killed and more than 100 injured, rebel officials said.

Both sides also reported civilian casualties.

Guterres “condemns the use of force and deplores the loss of life and the toll on civilians,” the statement said, adding that the Secretary General will speak to the President of Azerbaijan and the Armenian Prime Minister.

France, Germany, Italy and the European Union also called for an immediate ceasefire while Pope Francis prayed for peace.

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