Russia, Azerbaijan Discuss Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict

Posted August 9th, 2011 at 2:35 pm (UTC-5)
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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has met with his Azerbaijani counterpart, Ilam Aliyev, for talks focusing on the conflict between Azerbaijan and neighboring Armenia over the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.

The two leaders met Tuesday in the Black Sea resort of Sochi to discuss ways to peacefully resolve the long and often violent dispute over the majority ethnic Armenian enclave inside Azerbaijan.

The Interfax news agency quotes President Aliyev as saying he wants a prompt settlement of the conflict, which he said would be in the interest of all parties involved. The report quotes Mr. Medvedev as saying Moscow regards settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh problem a priority and is open to exploring ways to ensure progress toward that end.

Twenty years ago, Armenia and Azerbaijan fought a war over Nagorno-Karabakh that ended in a 1994 cease-fire. Since then, talks have dragged on without resolution and the enclave has been under the control of Armenian forces. But despite the suspension of hostilities, exchanges of gunfire continue along the borders of the disputed region.

The conflict left 35,000 people dead and forced as many as 1 million others from their homes.

Repeated international efforts to broker a peace deal have failed.