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Nagorno-Karabakh: Armenia, Azerbaijan diplomats talk cease-fire

Nagorno-Karabakh: Armenia, Azerbaijan diplomats talk cease-fire
An Azeri serviceman plants an Azerbaijani flag somewhere in Jabrayil district in Azerbaijan on September 27, after the Azerbaijani Army took it under control. Photo by Azerbaijan Defense Ministry/EPA-EFE

Oct. 9 (UPI) -- Amid ongoing fighting, government officials from Armenia and Azerbaijan have traveled to Russia for negotiations that they hope will produce a cease-fire.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russian President Vladimir Putin is not yet expected to be involved in the discussions, which will be handled by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

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Azerbaijan and Armenia have been engaged in intense fighting since Sept. 27 in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region. The sides have long disagreed over control of the Nagorno-Karabakh territory -- an Armenian-controlled region technically located within Azerbaijan's borders -- since the Soviet Union dissolved in the early 1990s.

"Both sides responded, the foreign ministers are on their way to Moscow," Peskov noted.

French President Emmanuel Macron has expressed confidence that the fighting may end with a truce, after discussions he had with Armenia Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Thursday and Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev on Friday.

Azerbaijani officials and Nagorno-Karabakh separatist authorities said early Friday that there is still heavy shelling in the region -- and the Azerbaijani defense ministry said forces have captured Armenian military equipment.

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The Kremlin said Putin has spoken with Aliyev and Pashinyan and publicly called for an end to the fighting.

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