Azerbaijan’s army says it has entered the district of Aghdam, the first of three to be handed back by Armenia as part of a Russian-brokered peace deal to end the fighting in the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
“Units of the Azerbaijan Army entered the Aghdam region on November 20,” Azerbaijan’s defence ministry said of the district, which had been controlled by Armenian separatists for nearly 30 years.
Russian peacekeepers have been deployed along the Nagorno-Karabakh region to uphold the ceasefire and according to Kremlin, the warring sides will also exchange prisoners of war, detainees, and dead bodies as part of the deal. The UN Commissioner for Refugee is overseeing the return of displaced people to Nagorno-Karabakh and the adjacent regions.
According to the deal, Armenia will hand over the Kalbajar district to Azerbaijan on November 25, and the Lachin district by December 1. Azerbaijan recently gave the Armenian side some time to withdraw from the Kalbajar district citing “humanitarian” concerns after Yerevan urged for a delay due to “damaged roads” in the area.