Armenia and Azerbaijan have achieved a consensus on ways to settle their dispute over the Nagorno-Karabakh region following the outbreak of violence in April.
In a joint statement following a Monday meeting in the Austrian capital Vienna with US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev "agreed on a next round of talks to be held in June at a place to be mutually agreed, with an aim to resuming negotiations on a comprehensive settlement."
"The presidents reiterated their commitment to the ceasefire and the peaceful settlement of the conflict," the statement said, adding, "To reduce the risk of further violence, they agreed to finalize in the shortest possible time” a ceasefire monitoring mission by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
The Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is located in the Azerbaijan Republic but is populated by Armenians, has been under the control of local ethnic Armenian militia and the Armenian troops since a three-year war that claimed over 30,000 lives and ended in 1994.
In early April, Azerbaijani and Armenian troops used artillery, tanks, and other armaments against each other on a scale not seen since the separatist war concluded in 1994. According to reports, at least 110 people from both sides were killed in the latest skirmishes between the hostile neighbors.
A fragile Moscow-brokered ceasefire halted the bloodshed on April 5, but the two sides continue to accuse one another of violating the truce.
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