Daily Memo: Coalitions Take Shape

France, Russia and the U.S. issued a statement urging a cease-fire and negotiations in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Stop fighting. That was the message to Armenia and Azerbaijan on Thursday from the presidents of France, Russia and the United States. Specifically, the statement by the three co-chairs of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Minsk Group called for the immediate end of hostilities and for the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan to resume good faith negotiations without preconditions. Separately, Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron spoke by phone, and according to the French side’s readout, they “shared their concern regarding the sending of Syrian mercenaries by Turkey to Nagorno-Karabakh.” (Turkey backs Azerbaijan in the conflict over the Armenian separatist enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh.) It’s an accusation that has been making the rounds in recent days, though Paris offered no evidence to support it, and Russia’s Foreign Ministry has said only that “illegal armed units” from Libya and Syria are present, without attributing responsibility for that presence. In the meantime, Dubai-based Al Arabiya reported that Israel has been sending weapons to Azerbaijan. As for the fighting itself, the most notable development is that five mortar rounds reportedly landed on Iranian territory, destroying two housing units. Nagorno-Karabakh’s forces also said they had shot down two Azerbaijani […]

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