ARM + AZ foreign ministers meet in Geneva tomorrow, in the aftermath of a deadly cycle of civilian suffering: at least 25 Azerbaijani civilians killed yesterday + today, dozens injured, in Armenian strikes on the town of Barda; dead include an @AzRedCrescent volunteer. 1/6
AZ claims use of cluster munitions against its civilians - must be investigated by @amnesty and @hrw. AZ strikes on towns in NK killed one in Shusha, more injured; a hospital building in Stepanakert hit – must also be investigated – more strikes reported tonight. 2/6
Fighting continues on southern front (localised engagements) + northern front (artillery), incl. in Lachin district, close to ARM-NK corridor. Armenian media are discussing grim worst-case scenarios with implications of much wider escalation. 3/6
President Aliyev spoke approvingly of potential for 2+2 format, meaning ARM/AZ, Russia/Turkey; Erdogan called Putin today with similar message. Iran also active, with deputy FM S.A. Araghchi in shuttle diplomacy sharing “Iran’s Regional Initiative” to help end the conflict. 4/6
Many unpredictable variables: Biden issues another statement highlighting need to stop fuelling conflict + actions he would take; Turkish lira hits record low; if the military dynamic continues, a significant escalation with unforeseeable consequences could follow. 5/6
But if there is military stalemate, is there a force capable of opposing a slide into regionalisation, with local and imported proxy dynamics overlaying original parameters of the dispute and making it even more intractable? See article by @MaysamBehravesh + @HamidRezaAz . 6/6
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