Diplomatic efforts underway to restrain clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia


Clashes erupted between Armenia and Azerbaijan on Sunday over the volatile Nagorno-Karabakh region, reigniting concern about instability in the South Caucasus, a corridor for pipelines transporting oil and gas to world markets.

The clashes led to diplomatic efforts to prevent that the new flare-up of a decades-old conflict between majority Christian Armenia and mainly Muslim Azerbaijan.

Russia called for an immediate ceasefire and Pope Francis lead calls for talks.

Both sides reported fatalities after the attacks. Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh, a breakaway region that is inside Azerbaijan but is run by ethnic Armenians, declared martial law and mobilised their male populations. Azerbaijan followed.

Armenia said Azerbaijan had carried out an air and artillery attack on Nagorno-Karabakh. Azerbaijan said it had responded to Armenian shelling and that it had seized control of up to seven villages, but Nagorno-Karabakh denied this.