BEVERLY HILLS (CBSLA) — A pro-Armenia rally held on Sunday afternoon in response to the ongoing Armenia and Azerbaijan conflict drew up to 100,000 attendees, the LAPD estimated.
The “Artsakh Under Attack: March for Victory” began at Pan Pacific Park and conclude at the Turkish Consulate in Beverly Hills.
“We stand with our brothers and sisters in Armenia and Artsakh and the diaspora in L.A.,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said. “We welcome the ceasefire and it must be respected. We need our national leadership to step up and help bring peace to the region. Turkey must disengage.”
Los Angeles County is home to the nation’s largest Armenian diaspora, and the reported cease-fire agreement came after days of protests and demonstrations throughout the L.A. area to bring attention to the ongoing conflict in the region.
Armenia leaders have accused Azerbaijan of breaking the cease-fire, while Azerbaijani leaders are alleging it is Armenia that was in breach.
Minutes after the truce reportedly took effect, the Armenian military accused Azerbaijan of shelling a settlement inside Armenia.
Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry rejected the Armenian accusations as a “provocation.”
Nasimi Aghayev, the Consul General of Azerbaijan in Los Angeles, said the following in a video statement sent to CBS2/KCAL9:
“Armenia must end this aggression and occupation against Azerbaijani people. We want peace but for peace, Armenia must withdraw its armed forces from Azerbaijan,” Aghayev said.
The Azerbaijani military also accused Armenia of striking two of Azerbaijan’s regions and attempting to launch offensives, which Armenia denies, calling attacks on its citizens a “second genocide.”
Tensions between the countries recently re-ignited, resulting in several civilian deaths, and led to widespread protests and calls for peace.
The Nagorno-Karabakh region is controlled by ethnic Armenians but rests in Azerbaijani territory. Azerbaijan has long expressed its intent to take control of the territory.
Both sides have accused the other of attacking civilians during the clash, which is possibly the most violent since Armenia and Azerbaijan’s 1994 cease-fire.
As of Sunday night, no resolution has been brought forth by either country.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service and The Associated Press contributed to this report.)