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We have to be ready for ‘harsh and long-lasting hostilities’ – leader of disputed region

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The President of the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region Arayik Harutyunyan said that the parties to the conflict have to be ready for “more harsh and long-lasting hostilities.” He made the comments during a press conference in Stepanakert on Sunday after renewed fighting broke out between Armenian and Azeri forces.
“A large-scale war is on the go. Maybe tomorrow we will have to retreat, maybe launch an offensive, but this is indefinite. We have to be ready for more harsh and long-lasting hostilities. What else remains? The enemy uses all its military power,” he explained. 
Harutyunyan claimed that Nagorno-Karabakh is fighting joint Azerbaijan-Turkish forces whom he said had been long preparing for a war.
“They had been preparing for months to strike our communications. All professionals say, it is not a matter of days. The fact that the mendacious government of our enemy presents as if it was us, who attacked them and they had to launch a counter-offensive, only proves one more time, whom we have to deal with,” said the politician.
According to Harutyunyan, the major concern of the unrecognised republic is security.
“Our priority is security. Whether our republic will be recognised or not, we have to win the war. After the victory, or during it, the right political decisions will be made,” said the leader of the disputed territory.
On September 27, hostilities broke out between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region. 
Earlier, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed support for the Azeri authorities and blamed Yerevan for the conflict. 
The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged the “sides to cease fire immediately and to commence negotiations in order to stabilise the situation.” Leaders of France, Austria, Germany, and other European countries also called for a suspension of military operations and negotiations.
It’s been the heaviest fighting in the region since 2016 with dozens of casualties reported. The Nagorno-Karabakh region is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan but has an independent government led by a majority group of ethnic Armenians.

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