Touching upon recent events in Zangezur, Azerbaijani PM N. Usubbeyov shared his concerns in his 8 December 1919 to High Commissioner William Gaskell; he said that with the Armenian population of Zangezur keeping artillery and machine guns there was no guarantee whatsoever they would not rise again and the region would not fall into anarchy.
Azerbaijani PM therefore suggested sending, no later than in a 5-day period, a commission of US military officers to Zangezur Uyezd in order to seize artillery and machine guns from local Armenian gangs. The Azerbaijani government warned that it would otherwise have no way but take a concrete action to force the perpetrators to comply with peaceful coexistence principles in Zangezur 
In his response dated 11 December 1919, Gaskell said he "received the cable and forwarded it to Armenian PM with the following addition: should these charges be confirmed as a result of investigation, it would deal the hardest blow to Armenia's future." 
That Armenian military forces were violating the 23 November 1919 agreement was also reported by Oliver Wardrop, former British Consul General in Moscow and High Commissioner of Transcaucasus, who arrived in Baku right after the withdrawal of British troops from Azerbaijan. His primary objective was to secure British trade and political interests in the region and provide moral support and advice to the governments of the three republics, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia, without making any permanent commitments on behalf of His Majesty's Government. He was also tasked with preventing hostilities between the South Caucasian republics on the one hand and General Denikin's armies on the other.
Referring to Azerbaijan's Foreign Ministry, Wardrop informed London of bloody crimes Armenian troops committed in Erivan and Yelizavetpol governorates against the peaceful Azerbaijani population between October 1919 and April 1920.
Wardrop's reports once again prove that the Allies lacked a clean-cut political line in their relations with independent republics of the South Caucasus; there was a discrepancy among political circles of Western powers, ranging between recognition of nations and indifference to their fate. That eventually resulted in the South Caucasian republics losing political independence and being "absorbed" by Soviet Russia.
Wardrop's report dated 11 December 1919 writes that "according to Karabakh's military commander, on 1 December Armenian regular troops with 2 cannons and 6 machine guns assaulted 9 Tatar (Azerbaijani) villages in Kigy Pass (gorge), and sacked and razed them to the ground. On 26 November, they gathered all peaceful Muslims (Azerbaijanis) from Okhchu area, killed men with a dynamite blast, and drove the rest, including women and children, to the mosque where they all were slaughtered. The Muslims (Azerbaijanis) of Zangezur are in panic" 
Wardrop's report dated 15 December 1919 writes: "Azerbaijani PM sent a cable, accusing Armenian regular artillery detachments of committing a massacre in Zangezur's villages. He said that on 9 December the villages of Kedaklaklu, Askerlar, and Perjivan to the southeast of Gerus were devastated, besieged Muslim villages Okhchu and Kiziljik shelled by artillery and their entire population killed. He said Azerbaijan did not have a single soldier in Zangezur. His Excellency requests to dispatch military from neutral countries to disarm Armenians in Zangezur, lest Azerbaijan will have to take action." 
Wardrop's report dated 28 January 1920 writes: "Still getting reports of Armenian aggression in Zangezur; these events are increasingly aggravating people's mood, making them demand the government take urgent action." Wardrop goes on writing: "It was a primary objective of my visit to Erivan to pressure Armenian PM into withdrawing regular forces and artillery from Zangezur and discipline the culprits. I have already send a cable to His Excellency, saying that unless the Armenian government ceases its aggression, I will have to advise His Majesty's Government against providing assistance to Armenia." 
In his ciphered cable dated 28 February 1920, Wardrop cites the Azerbaijani government's protest against its Armenian counterpart, whose regular troops, notwithstanding the 23 November agreement, razed nearly 20 Azerbaijani villages in Zangezur; besides, on 19 January 1920 they launched a joint assault with irregular Armenian units on Shusha, burning villages on the way. In conclusion, he wrote that he was doing his best to maintain peace.
Meanwhile, the next Armenian-Azerbaijani peace conference was held on 14 through 21 December 1919 in Baku, following up on November talks in Tiflis and striving to resolve all the critical issues between the two countries.
The most painful issue on the agenda was concerning territorial disputes between the republics. The parties split over it; the Azerbaijani side suggested bringing the three South Caucasian republics into a confederation, believing such political entity would be the best and most acceptable way to resolve territorial and other discrepancies. The Armenian side, on the other hand, assumed a non-constructive position, maintaining that an interim demarcation agreement should be signed before establishing the final borders 
That was all but expected: unwilling to commit to any long-term border agreements with its neighbors, Armenia was looking forward to the Paris Peace Conference resolving the "Armenian Issue". Were it resolved in favor of Armenia, the republic would lay its hands on the entire Irevan Governorate, Karabakh, and Zangezur. Armenians were still dreaming of the "Greater Armenia" with borders, according to the first Armenian PM H. Kachaznuni, extending "from the Mediterranean Sea through to the Black Sea, and from mountains of Karabakh through to deserts of Arabia." 
With such great perspectives in mind, Armenia apparently did not want to bother itself with such nuances as an agreement with Azerbaijan in respect with some sections of the border. The Armenian delegation was again dodging, on various excuses, the final recognition of mutual borders with Azerbaijan. The Armenian delegation's suggestion to draw the demarcation line, on the other hand, was virtually unfeasible due to the actual ethnic and demographic situation in the frontier area.
It always so happened that Azerbaijani cattle farmers traditionally drove cattle to high mountains of Zangezur in summer and to plains of Lower Karabakh in winter. Armenia's claims to the mountainous Zangezur and attempts to hinder cattle driving by introducing identification documents and cattle camp certificates would be stirring up tension between the sides. The Azerbaijani government's protests were remaining unheeded. That the peace conference wrapped up without any tangible outcomes was not a surprise to anyone.
Early in 1920, Azerbaijani villages in Zangezur and Karabakh kept on getting assaulted by Armenian troops, supported by the local Armenian population. Taking advantage of insignificant Azerbaijani forces deployed to maintain order in the Karabakh region, Armenian militia, regular forces and artillery units launched a simultaneous surprise attack on Azerbaijani military units in Shusha, Khankendi, Askeran, Khojaly, Terter and other towns; to that end, they had previously cut telegraph and telephone lines.
The town of Askeran, defended by a small 50-strong unit, put up a good resistance at first but was eventually taken over on 22 March. The other towns, however, repelled these bold attacks and dealt a heavy damage to Armenians. The latter also subjected high grounds of Shusha and Askeran to artillery shelling.
Sizeable Armenian troops attacked Azerbaijani villages in Jabrayil and Zangezur uyezds on the next day, with some villages razed to the ground. Facing a danger of total annihilation, the Muslims (Azerbaijanis) of Karabakh gathered in small groups to defend themselves; in some locations, they even managed to thwart Armenians' surprise attacks on the first day, and kept on standing at bay in other places. The Azerbaijani government took urgent action to restore order in Karabakh and prevent recurrent attacks 
Azerbaijani military forces stationed in the region under the command of General Habib Bey Salimov managed early in April 1920 to suppress the rebels' main strongpoints in Shusha and Askeran, restoring Karabakh Governor General's power in the region. Armenian diplomatic representative to Azerbaijan Martiros Harutunian in his 9 April 1920 letter to Armenian Foreign Minister Hamo Ohanjanyan
provides a detailed account of his meeting with Azerbaijani Foreign Minister F.K. Khoyski, which featured a discussion of the recent events in Karabakh.
According to Khoyski, two Armenian police officers with an armed escort (26 people per officer) had arrived in Shusha, allegedly to congratulate the Muslims (Azerbaijanis) with Novruz Bayram, and, joining armed Armenians already deployed in the town, attacked Azerbaijani troops in the deep of the night. Khoyski pointed out that, had Azerbaijan intended to fight Armenians, they would have never left only 50 soldiers in Askeran (of which only 15 managed to flee to Agdam and report the attack).
That had been a well-planned and thought-through assault, aimed at taking over all towns at once. Asked by Harutunian as to how many villages had been razed in Karabakh, Khoyski replied that one of two had been devastated near Shusha. When the military units entered the villages, they could not find any dwellers as they had left their homes in advance. The troops only met armed people, who tried to put up resistance but suffered a defeat and retreated.
Harutunian also touched upon the massacre of Armenian population during the recent events.
To which Khoyski replied: "No, the entire middle class in Shusha are under Sultanov's protection; the rest have retreated to the countryside together with rebels. That it was an organized attack is confirmed by guns we have found in individual villages. Our troops were under the strict order to refrain from violence against the peaceful Armenian population; those in default will be disciplined severely.