Baku: UN mission arrives in Karabakh for first visit in 30 years

Baku: UN mission arrives in Karabakh for first visit in 30 years

A United Nations mission arrived in Nagorno-Karabakh on Sunday for the first time in over 30 years, according to Azerbaijan in Focus, reporting Daily Sabah, citing the Azerbaijan officials.

The mission arrives as a majority of Armenians there traveled toward their homeland, after Baku last week freed the territory from three-decade occupation by Armenian separatist groups.

An Azerbaijani presidency spokesman told AFP that a “U.N. mission arrived in Karabakh on Sunday morning” – mainly to assess humanitarian needs.

It marks the first time in about 30 years that the international body has gained access to the region.

The Armenian separatists agreed to disarm, dissolve their government and reintegrate with Baku following a one-day Azerbaijani offensive last week.

Baku is now holding reintegration talks with separatist leaders while, at the same time detaining some senior figures from its former self-proclaimed government and military command.

Nearly all of Karabakh’s estimated 120,000 Armenians left over the following days, despite Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev’s pledges that his country would protect their rights, in line with the country’s laws and international obligations.

Earlier Friday, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies announced an emergency appeal for 20 million Swiss Francs ($22 million) to help those fleeing.

Azerbaijani President Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, in the meanwhile, are set to meet on Thursday in the Spanish city of Granada for Western-mediated talks aimed at ending their historic enmity.

On September 19, Azerbaijan launched a counterterrorism operation to “restore constitutional structure” in Karabakh, nearly three years after fighting a brief but brutal war with Armenia over the mountainous region.