Armenia and Azerbaijan say they have agreed Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire

Armenia and Azerbaijan say they have agreed Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire
Home owner, Lida Sarksyan, stands near her house destroyed by shelling from Azerbaijan's artillery during a military conflict in Stepanakert, the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. (AP)
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Updated 17 October 2020

Armenia and Azerbaijan say they have agreed Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire

Armenia and Azerbaijan say they have agreed Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire
  • It will be the warring sides' second attempt to declare a ceasefire to quell almost three weeks of clashes over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region
  • According to an official, but partial, toll more than 700 people have been killed in the clashes

YEREVAN: The foreign ministries of Armenia and Azerbaijan said they had agreed to declare a "humanitarian truce" from midnight Sunday, after nearly three weeks of fighting over a disputed region.
It will be the warring sides' second attempt to declare a ceasefire to quell almost three weeks of clashes over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region that have killed hundreds of people.
"The Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan have agreed to a humanitarian truce as of October 18, 00h00 local time," Armenia's foreign ministry said late Saturday.
Azerbaijan's foreign ministry confirmed the move in an identical statement.
The announcement came after Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov held phone talks with his counterparts from Armenia and Azerbaijan and stressed "the need to strictly follow" a ceasefire deal agreed in Moscow last Saturday, the foreign ministry said.
The ministers also confirmed the importance of beginning "substantive" talks to settle the conflict, the ministry in Moscow said.
Armenia and Azerbaijan had last Saturday agreed to a ceasefire after 11 hours of talks mediated by Lavrov in Moscow, but then both accused each other of violating the deal.
Nagorno-Karabakh, a breakaway region of Azerbaijan mainly inhabited by ethnic Armenians and backed by Yerevan, has been the scene of deadly clashes since September 27.
According to an official, but partial, toll more than 700 people have been killed in the clashes.
The mountainous western region of Azerbaijan has remained under separatist Armenian control since a 1994 ceasefire ended a brutal war that killed 30,000.


India to begin commercial vaccine exports with shipments to Brazil, Morocco

India to begin commercial vaccine exports with shipments to Brazil, Morocco
Updated 21 January 2021

India to begin commercial vaccine exports with shipments to Brazil, Morocco

India to begin commercial vaccine exports with shipments to Brazil, Morocco
  • Supply of commercially contracted quantities will also begin to Saudi Arabia and South Africa
  • The shots developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University are being manufactured at the Serum Institute of India

NEW DELHI: India’s government has cleared commercial exports of COVID-19 vaccines, with the first consignments to be shipped to Brazil and Morocco on Friday, the Indian foreign secretary told Reuters.
The shots developed by UK-based drugmaker AstraZeneca and Oxford University are being manufactured at the Serum Institute of India, the world’s biggest producer of vaccines, which has received orders from countries across the world.
The Indian government had held off exporting doses until it began its own domestic immunization program last weekend. Earlier this week, it sent free supplies to neighboring countries including Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh and Nepal.
Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said commercial supplies of the vaccine would begin from Friday in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s commitment that India’s production capacities would be used for all of humanity to fight the pandemic.
“In keeping with this vision, we have responded positively to requests for supply of Indian manufactured vaccines from countries across the globe, starting with our neighbors,” he said, referring to the free supplies. “Supply of commercially contracted quantities will also commence from tomorrow, starting with Brazil and Morocco, followed by South Africa and Saudi Arabia,” he added.
Brazil, which has world’s second-highest COVID-19 death toll after the United States, has been urging India to send the AstraZeneca vaccine. It has agreed to take 2 million doses from Serum and was ready to send a plane last week to pick them up.
Morocco, South Africa and Saudi Arabia have also secured supplies from Serum, officials said.