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Russia Hosts Ministerial Meeting On Karabakh Settlement

The Azerbaijani and Armenian foreign ministers, Elmar Mammadyarov (left) and Edward Nalbandian, at a meeting in Helsinki in 2008
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is due to meet in Moscow with his counterparts from Armenia and Azerbaijan, Edward Nalbandian and Elmar Mammadyarov, to discuss the prospects for a settlement of the long-running Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

A local news agency report says the meeting will focus on preparations for a visit to the Armenia-Azerbaijan region in February of the OSCE Minsk Group's co-chairs -- Russia, France, and the United States.

The Minsk Group seeks to encourage a peaceful, negotiated resolution to the conflict over Karabakh, a mainly ethnic Armenian populated area in Azerbaijan.

Tensions over Karabakh have risen in the past year as peace talks have stalled, with more than 20 soldiers from the two sides reported to have been killed in 2010.

A cease-fire line has divided the sides since 1994.

compiled from agency reports