Azerbaijani army enters Kalbajar region after 27 years


BAKU - The Azerbaijani army entered the Kalbajar region following 27 years of Armenian occupation, the country’s Defense Ministry announced early Wednesday.

“According to the trilateral statement signed by the presidents of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Russian Federation and the prime minister of the Republic of Armenia, units of the Azerbaijan Army entered the Kalbajar region on Nov. 25,” the ministry said.

Relations between the former Soviet republics of Azerbaijan and Armenia have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Upper Karabakh, a territory recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.

When new clashes erupted on Sept. 27, the Armenian army launched attacks on civilians and Azerbaijani forces and violated humanitarian cease-fire agreements.

During the 44-day conflict, Azerbaijan liberated several cities and nearly 300 settlements and villages from Armenian occupation.

On Nov. 10, the two countries signed a Russia-brokered agreement to end fighting and work toward a comprehensive resolution.

The truce is seen as a victory for Azerbaijan and a defeat for Armenia, whose armed forces have been withdrawing as the agreement specified.

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