WASHINGTON - For the third time this month, Armenia and Azerbaijan have agreed to implement and abide by a ceasefire, according to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
The humanitarian ceasefire will go into effect at 8:00 a.m. local time (12:00 a.m. EDT) on October 26.
The U.S. brokered ceasefire comes a day after Secretary Pompeo met in Washington with the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan.
The State Department said Pompeo had emphasized to Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan and Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov the need “to end the violence and protect civilians.”
“The United States facilitated intensive negotiations among the Foreign Ministers and the Minsk Group Co-Chairs to move Armenia and Azerbaijan closer to a peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” according to a statement from the U.S. Department of State.
Two previous Russia-brokered ceasefire agreements were violated in early October.
The first humanitarian ceasefire was agreed upon on Oct. 10 in Moscow. The second humanitarian ceasefire went into effect on Oct. 18th, but both were short lived as fighting resumed within hours.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has repeatedly said that Armenia is ready for a peaceful resolution of the dispute and it was Azerbaijan that wouldn’t agree to a compromise, Pashinyan’s spokeswoman, Mane Gevogryan, told the Interfax news agency Sunday.
Shortly after the announcement, President Trump tweeted “Congratulations to Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, who just agreed to adhere to a cease fire effective at midnight. Many lives will be saved. Proud of my team.”
On Friday President Trump commented on the situation and promised to help Armenians.
“We are talking about it, we are working with Armenia. We have a very good relationship with Armenians, very good people, they are so dedicated they’re incredible people, we will see what happens,” President Trump stated.
“I don’t wanna say. But we will see what happens, I think really good progress is being made with respect to that. We have a lot of people living in this country from Armenia, originally from Armenia, and we are going to help them,” he added.
Heavy fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the region of Artsakh (also known as Nagorno-Karabakh) began on Sept. 27. Heavy artillery, rockets and drones have killed hundreds in the area.
Armenia says over 900 soldiers have been killed, including dozens of civilians. Much of the residents in Artsakh have been displaced, infrastructure, including schools and churches have been destroyed.
Azerbaijani authorities haven’t disclosed their military losses.