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Pakistan hails Russian-brokered deal to end military conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh region

Pakistan has welcomed the agreement between Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia to end the military conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh region after more than a month of bloodshed.

“Pakistan has consistently supported the resolution of Nagorno-Karabagh dispute in accordance with international law and the relevant UN Security Council resolutions,” the Foreign Office said in a statement on Tuesday.

The deal, agreed by the three countries, ushered in a full ceasefire from midnight Moscow time on November 10, freezing a conflict that has killed thousands, displaced many more and threatened to plunge the wider region into war.

“We welcome the recent announcement of cessation of hostilities by the relevant parties,” the communique said.

The trilateral agreement facilitated by the Russia offers a renewed opportunity for establishing peace in the South Caucus region, it added.

The territory is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan but populated and, until recently, fully controlled by ethnic Armenians who have been relentlessly pushed back by the armed forces of Azerbaijan in six weeks of heavy fighting.

Under the deal, Azerbaijan will get to keep all of its territorial gains, including the enclave’s second city of Shusha/Shushi, and ethnic Armenian forces must hand over control of a slew of other territories by December 1.

Russian peacekeepers will stay in place for at least five years. Russian President Vladimir Putin said they would be deployed along the frontline in Nagorno-Karabakh and in a corridor between the region and Armenia.

“We congratulate the government and brotherly people of Azerbaijan on the liberation of their territories. It is hoped that this will lead to an era of stability and prosperity in the region and will pave way for the return of internally displaced persons to their ancestral lands.”

(With input from Reuters).

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