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Azerbaijani Soldier Shot Dead Near Nagorno-Karabakh Border


Jean-Claude Mignon (file photo)

Jean-Claude Mignon (file photo)

Azerbaijan says one of its soldiers has been shot dead near the border of the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Defense Ministry officials say 19-year-old Private Namig Gamidov was killed on May 27 as the result of "a cease-fire violation" by Armenian forces in Nagorno-Karabakh.

There was no immediate response from Armenia.

Nagorno-Karabakh is a mostly ethnic Armenian-populated enclave that is surrounded by Azerbaijani territory.

Armenia, which controls Nagorno-Karabakh and several surrounding districts, has been locked in a dispute with Azerbaijan for more than two decades over the region.

After going to war, a truce was signed in 1994, but there is still sporadic violence.

Years of internationally mediated talks have failed to resolve the conflict.

However, the president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) says European lawmakers hope 2013 will mark a turning point in efforts to negotiate a settlement.

Jean-Claude Mignon said in Baku that Armenia and Azerbaijan have a historic opportunity to "take concrete steps to resolve the conflict" when they, in turn, chair the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe this year.

Mignon is in Azerbaijan as part of a tour of the South Caucasus.

Based on reporting by apa.az and ITAR-TASS
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