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Moscow sees progress on Nagorno-Karabakh

SOCHI, Russia, Jan. 26 (UPI) -- Azeri and Armenian negotiators in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict have agreed in principle to the terms of a draft preamble agreement, Moscow said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov welcomed Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan and Azeri President Ilham Aliyev to the Russian resort town of Sochi to take part in closed-door meetings with the Russian president.

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Lavrov said both sides agreed to move forward with independent amendments to a series of political solutions for the 20-year conflict, the Interfax news agency reports.

"The main result today is that both sides will prepare their tangible ideas of how to formulate the text where there is no agreement," said the Russian foreign minister.

The Minsk group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, led by France, Russia and the United States, is leading peace negotiations aimed at settling the conflict of the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Armenia and Azerbaijan went to war over Nagorno-Karabakh in the early 1990s following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Ankara and Yerevan, however, signed protocols aimed at repairing diplomatic relations at an October summit in Zurich, Switzerland.

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Talks first began in 1993 with Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Armenia all taking part.

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