Azerbaijan denies Armenia claim of shooting down Azeri warplane, 2 drones


YEREVAN: Armenia’s Defence Ministry on Friday (October 3) said Nagorno-Karabakh air defence systems had shot down an Azeri warplane and two drones, an online government platform reported, but Azerbaijan`s defence ministry denied the report.

Fighting between Azerbaijan and ethnic Armenian forces continued for a sixth day in the heaviest clashes since the 1990s around the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, with both sides claiming to have inflicted significant damage on the other.

Meanwhile, earlier in the day, Armenia said it would work with Russia, the United States and France on renewing a ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh as the death toll rose on the sixth day of fighting over the breakaway enclave in the South Caucasus.

Azerbaijan, which is fighting ethnic Armenian forces in Nagorno-Karabakh, has not responded to a call for a ceasefire on Thursday by the three countries – co-chairs of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group, which mediates in the crisis.

Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev ruled out talks with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh on Tuesday and Azerbaijan’s ally Turkey said on Thursday the three big powers should have no role in peacemaking.

“It is obvious that Armenia is not interested in resolving the conflict through negotiations and is trying to annex the occupied territories,” Azerbaijan`s Foreign Ministry said.

French President Emmanuel Macron said in a statement he had spoken on the phone successively with the prime minister of Armenia, Nikol Pashinyan, and the president of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, and had proposed a new method to restart talks within the Minsk group.

Macron said work would start from Friday evening, as he upped his efforts to broker mediation in his role as co-chair of the OSCE Minsk group.

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