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2 Nov, 2008 14:57

Armenia and Azerbaijan agree to talks on disputed land

Caucasus adversaries Armenia and Azerbaijan have signed an agreement to try to resolve their dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh. At talks in Moscow on Sunday both sides agreed to seek a peaceful solution to the row over the breakaway region.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev arranged the talks during a visit to Armenia in October.

He said the aim was to "work towards stabilisation of the situation in the South Caucasus and the establishment of stability and security in the region on the base of principles of international law and relevant decisions and documents.

The president added that stabilisation would create “favourable conditions for economic development and co-operation in the region. A peaceful settlement should be accompanied by legally binding international guarantees of all its aspects and stages,” said Medvedev.

Nagorno-Karabakh was part of the Soviet Republic of Azerbaijan in the USSR and is mostly populated by Armenians.

In 1991 the region unilaterally declared independence, sparking a war between Armenia and Azerbaijan that killed around 30,000 people and created a million refugees. 

Since the ceasefire in 1994, most of Nagorno-Karabakh has remaines under joint Armenian and Nagorno-Karabakh military control.

Armenia remains committed to the region’s independence, while Azerbaijan says its territorial integrity must be respected.