Transfer of Kalbajar region to Azerbaijan postponed until 25 November
The transfer of the Kalbajar region [in the zone of the Karabakh conflict] to Azerbaijan, which was supposed to occur today on November 15, has been postponed until November 25.
Armenia made this request to Baku, passing it through Moscow. Logistic problems were named as the reason.
Azerbaijan agreed to a ten-day grace period.
The transfer of the Kalbajar region to Azerbaijan on November 15, 2020 is provided for by the trilateral agreement which Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia signed on November 10.
Per the agreement, Armenia must withdraw its troops and return to Azerbaijan control over two more regions adjacent to Karabakh according to the following schedule: by November 20 – Aghdam region, by December 1 – Lachin region.
Other terms of the agreement include:
• Armenia and Azerbaijan stop at the positions they occupied by the moment of signing the agreement.
• Russian peacekeepers – 1,960 servicemen – will be stationed along the contact line in Nagorno-Karabakh.
• Refugees are to return to the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh and adjacent areas.
• The parties must exchange prisoners of war.
• All economic and transport links in the region are to be unblocked.
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Aide to the President of Azerbaijan Hikmet Hajiyev said at a briefing in Baku on November 15 that the appeal of the Armenian side was conveyed to President Ilham Aliyev by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“The Armenian armed forces have asked for time until November 25 to evacuate people. The Kalbajar region occupies a large territory, and there is only one road for the evacuation of military equipment and people illegally placed on these lands.
In addition, the Kelbajar-Zod-Vardenis road is rather narrow. In addition, the terrain is difficult, and there has already been snow in some places.
Azerbaijan has taken a humane step to allow for the withdrawal of civilians illegally residing in the Kalbajar region, and they will leave this region by 25 November,” said Hajiyev, adding:
“By November 20, the Armenian forces must liberate the Aghdam region, by December 1, the Lachin region must be transferred to Azerbaijan. There can be no talk of any postponement in these matters.”
Official representative of the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry General Huseyn Mahmudov said at the same briefing that the Azerbaijani army will enter the Kalbajar region from two directions – from the Goygol and Dashkesan regions of Azerbaijan.
“The first task of the army is to strengthen the state border of Azerbaijan with Armenia,” Mahmudov said.
The general added that the Azerbaijani army is closely following the implementation of the liberation of the Kalbajar region by the Armenian armed forces.