High-stakes talks came after local Armenian self-defence forces in the southern Caucasus Mountains region agreed to lay down their arms following a military operation launched by Azerbaijan.
Officials from Nagorno-Karabakh and the Azerbaijan government met on Thursday for talks on the future of the region that Baku now claims to fully control following a military offensive this week.
Azerbaijan’s state news agency said the talks, being held in the city of Yevlakh, had ended but provided no details on their progress.
Nagorno-Karabakh authorities earlier said the discussions would focus on the ethnic Armenian region’s “reintegration” into Azerbaijan.
The talks came after local Armenian self-defence forces in the southern Caucasus Mountains region agreed on Wednesday to disarm and disband following a military operation launched by Azerbaijan.
A Russian-mediated cease-fire ended the latest round of fighting in the region, which has run its own affairs since the early 1990s.
Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev declared victory in a televised address to the nation, saying his country had restored its sovereignty in Nagorno-Karabakh.
The Azerbaijan army unleashed artillery and drone attacks on Tuesday against the outnumbered and undersupplied pro-Armenian forces in the region.
The fighting worsened an already grim humanitarian situation for residents who have endured shortages of food and medicine for months under Azerbaijan’s blockade of the road connecting Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia.
Nagorno-Karabakh human rights ombudsman Gegham Stepanyan said at least 200 people, including 10 civilians, were killed and more than 400 others were wounded in the fighting. The figures could not immediately be independently verified.
Authorities in Nagorno-Karabakh accused Azerbaijan on Thursday of violating the cease-fire agreement by firing on Stepanakert/Khankendi, according to the Russian news agency Interfax.
Azerbaijan’s Defence Ministry denied there had been any attack, the Azerbaijan news agency reported.
Azerbaijan’s move to reclaim control over Nagorno-Karabakh raised concerns that a full-scale war in the region could resume.
Both sides have been locked in a struggle over Nagorno-Karabakh since a separatist war there ended in 1994.
A second, six-week war in 2020 killed over 6,700 people and saw Azerbaijan reclaim large parts of the region, and Russia dispatched 2,000 peacekeepers after it brokered a truce.
The UN Security Council scheduled an urgent meeting Thursday on the Azerbaijani offensive at the request of France.