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Dialogue urged for Nagorno-Karabakh

UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 29 (UPI) -- The lingering conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh region can be resolved if Azerbaijan and Armenia refrain for undermining dialogue, Armenian officials said.

War broke out between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh in the early 1990s, and the regional fallout from that row remains tense despite a 1994 cease-fire.

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Yerevan claims ethnic Armenians are deprived of their basic rights in the territory, while Baku argues those solutions lie in annexing Nagorno-Karabakh.

Armenian and Azeri foreign ministers exchanged heated words as the conflict gained attention during the U.N. General Assembly Meeting in New York.

Azeri Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov said Armenia needed to pull its forces from the region and return internally displaced persons. Edward Nalbandian, his Armenian counterpart, struck a conciliatory tone, saying, "The parties should commit to refrain from steps that could hamper dialogue and the peace process."

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in her meetings on Nagorno-Karabakh expressed her "strong support" for a resolution, saying the dispute negotiating process should move forward without preconditions, said Philip Gordon, the assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs.

Turkey in a confidence-building measure said it would open its border with Armenia in time for a World Cup qualifying match in October.

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