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UN Security Council urges speedy halt to Nagorno-Karabakh fighting as Armenia accuses Turkey of shooting down its plane

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The U.N. Security Council called on Armenia and Azerbaijan Tuesday to immediately halt fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh and urgently resume talks without preconditions.

"The Security Council members voiced support for the call by the Secretary-General on the sides to immediately stop fighting, de-escalate tensions and return to meaningful negotiations without delay," UNSC chairman Abdou Abarry, representing Niger, said in a statement.

Abarry added that the Council condemned the use of force and expressed concern about the clashes in the area.

The council expressed full support for "the central role" of the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe, which has been trying to mediate peace talks, and urged the sides "to work closely with them for an urgent resumption of dialogue without preconditions."

Five European council members France, Germany, Britain, Belgium and Estonia asked for the closed council meeting following the upsurge in fighting.

Nearly 100 people, including civilians, have died in three days of fighting over the disputed mountainous region, BBC said adding: The fighting that started three days ago now appears to be spilling out of Nagorno-Karabakh, with Armenia and Azerbaijan trading accusations of direct fire into their territories.

Armenia accuses Turkey of shooting down its fighter jet

As fighting enters a third day, Armenia said one of its warplanes was shot down Tuesday by a fighter jet from Turkey, killing the pilot, in fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh.

Armenian officials said an SU-25 from its air force was shot down in Armenian airspace by a Turkish F-16 fighter jet that took off from Azerbaijan, and the pilot was killed.

The allegation of downing the jet was "absolutely untrue," said Fahrettin Altun, communications director for Turkey's president.

Azerbaijani officials called it "another fantasy of the Armenian military propaganda machine."

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Turkey is "by Azerbaijan's side on the field and at the (negotiating) table."

Cavusoglu said the international community must defend Azerbaijan's territorial integrity in the same way it defended the integrity of Ukraine and Georgia.

"They are holding Azerbaijan, whose territories have been occupied, on an equal footing with Armenia. This is a wrong and unjust approach," Cavusoglu said after a visit to Azerbaijan's Embassy in Ankara.

Biden calls on Turkey to stay away

Democratic presidential candidate and U.S. senator Joe Biden in a tweet message on Tuesday said Turkey should "stay out of" the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
 
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