Guterres calls on the sides to return to peace talks  / REUTERS

UN Secretary-General António Guterres has called on Armenia and Azerbaijan to stop hostilities in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.

"The Secretary-General strongly calls on the sides to immediately stop fighting, de-escalate tensions and return to meaningful negotiations without delay," Stephane Dujarric, the spokesman for the UN Secretary-General, said in a statement on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict on September 27.

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Guterres will be speaking to both the President of Azerbaijan and the Prime Minister of Armenia, the spokesman said.

"The Secretary-General is extremely concerned over the fresh resumption of hostilities along the line of contact in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone. He condemns the use of force and regrets the loss of life and the toll on the civilian population," the statement said.

What is more, the Secretary-General reiterates his full support for the important role of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs and urges the sides to work closely with them for an urgent resumption of dialogue without preconditions.

War in Nagorno-Karabakh: Past developments

  • The conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh region began in 1988, when the predominantly Armenian-populated Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast announced its withdrawal from the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic.
  • In 1991-1994, the bloodshed conflict continued in the region, which ended with the signing of a ceasefire protocol. Nagorno-Karabakh proclaimed itself an independent "republic." Azerbaijan did not recognize this, considering the territory to have been occupied by Armenia.
  • From time to time, clashes still erupt along the line of contact.
  • On September 27, fighting resumed in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Both countries blamed each other for the outbreak of the hostilities.
  • Armenia, Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh have declared martial law. Mobilization has been announced in Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh.
  • The Azerbaijani authorities announced deaths during an attack on Nagorno-Karabakh mounted from Armenia.
  • Armenia, in turn, reported that the armed forces of Azerbaijan had lost about 200 servicemen.