Baku and Yerevan agree to halt fighting in occupied Karabakh region in a ceasefire deal that Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev calls a clear defeat of Armenia.

Azerbaijanis celebrate the signing of the ceasefire deal to end fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh, in Baku on November 10, 2020.
Azerbaijanis celebrate the signing of the ceasefire deal to end fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh, in Baku on November 10, 2020. (AA)

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has admitted defeat by signing a deal with Azerbaijan and Russia to end the conflict in occupied Karabakh.

During the early hours of Tuesday morning, Pashinyan announced on Facebook that he had signed what he called a "painful" agreement.

"I have signed a statement with the presidents of Russia and Azerbaijan on the termination of the Karabakh war," Pashinyan said in a statement posted on his Facebook page, calling the move "unspeakably painful for me personally and for our people."

"I made a very hard decision for me and for all of us," he said, adding, "I have signed a statement with Russia and Azerbaijan on the termination of the Karabakh war."

Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed the agreement and added that a ceasefire had commenced from 2100 GMT.

Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev said the ceasefire deal signed showed a clear defeat of Armenia.

"The liberation of around 300 settlements since September 27 has broken the back of the Armenian army," he added.

READ MORE: Occupied Nagorno-Karabakh: Azerbaijan retakes Shusha from Armenian forces

Russian deploys peacekeepers in ceasefire zone

Aliyev said Pashinyan signed the agreement due to Baku's "iron fist," not Yerevan's own will.

Aliyev said Agdam district will be delivered to Baku as of November 20 while Kalbajar will be returned by November 15 and Lachin by December 1.

He said Russia will deploy 1,960 soldiers and 90 armoured vehicles of its peacekeeping forces on the Nagorno-Karabakh contact line and in the Lachin Corridor.

He also announced a Turkish and Russia joint peacekeeping mission in the region.

Later on Tuesday, ten Russian Il-76 transport planes with peacekeepers and military vehicles took off from the Ulyanovsk-Vostochny Airport, the Russian Defence Ministry said.

The peacekeeping mission will include 15 motor and rifle peacekeeping divisions from Russia's Central Military District, it said.

Turkey hails Azerbaijan's 'gains'

Turkey hailed the "significant gains" achieved by Azerbaijan in its conflict with Armenian forces after both sides signed a deal this week.

"Our dear Azerbaijan achieved significant gains in the field and at the (negotiating) table. I wholeheartedly congratulate this blessed success," Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu tweeted.

"We will continue to be one nation, one heart with our dear Azerbaijani brothers."

"The pain experienced 30 years ago is coming to an end today," Turkey's Defence Ministry said in a statement on Twitter.

"Our heroic brothers showed their strength on the battlefield and won a victory by fighting bravely. The bad days are over. Today is victory day."

Protests in Yerevan

Meanwhile, Armenia erupted in protests after Pashinyan's announcement.

Protesters gathered in front of a government building in the capital Yerevan, breaking windows and chanting slogans against Pashinyan.

Some of them entered his office and called for him to resign.

Local media reports said parliament speaker Ararat Mirzoyan was attacked and beaten.

The crowds grew smaller as the night wore on but some protesters remained inside parliament.

Main points of ceasefire deal

Under the deal, Russia's Putin said both Azerbaijan and Armenia will remain in the positions they control.

The displaced and refugees will return to Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions under the control of the UN Refugee Agency, he said.

Transportation and communications control will be provided by the Russian Border Security Service, he said.

The ceasefire deal will create the necessary conditions for a long-term and comprehensive solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh crisis on a fair basis in line with the interests of the Armenian and Azerbaijani peoples, he added.

Armenia will guarantee transport through the country from Azerbaijan to its Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic exclave on the border with Turkey, and the construction of transport communications will be provided.

Azerbaijanis celebrate truce

Azerbaijan's capital Baku was the scene of enthusiastic celebrations, with thousands of people carrying both Azerbaijani and Turkish flags.

Some Azerbaijanis danced in the streets while others celebrated in convoys of cars. Some cried out of happiness and others sang songs and the national anthem.

In Ganja, the second-largest city in the country, hundreds gathered in the main square carrying Azerbaijani and Turkish flags.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, a local resident, Elnur Habiboglu, expressed her joy.

"We are returning to our own lands hopefully after 28 years," Habiboglu said. 

"Azerbaijan and Turkey are one nation with two states."

"Thank you very much. Turkey and Azerbaijan are brothers. We have won together," said another local, Sefika Fazil, who added her brother was a soldier. 

TRT World's Hasan Abdullah, reporting from Azerbaijan's capital Baku, said Azerbaijanis celebrated the victory of Karabakh at Martyr Square where they remembered those "who died for the cause of freeing Karabakh."

"Three generations are celebrating the victory in Karabakh including veterans who fought in the 1990s and before," he said.


Three decades of occupation

Relations between the two former Soviet republics over Nagorno-Karabakh have remained tense since 1991 with the latest clashes starting in September. 

Since then, three ceasefires have been violated.

Armenia has repeatedly attacked Azerbaijani civilians and forces, even violating three humanitarian ceasefire agreements.

In total, about 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory has been under illegal Armenian occupation for nearly three decades.

READ MORE: Azerbaijan retakes more villages from Armenia's occupation

Source: TRTWorld and agencies