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Azerbaijan, Armenian Presidents Hold Karabakh Talks In Sochi


Russian President Dmitry Medvedev flanked by the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia -- Ilham Aliyev on the left and Serzh Sarkisian on the right -- at a previous tripartite meeting
The Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents have held talks in Russia on the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region amid heightened tensions in recent months.

Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian, Azerbaijan's Ilham Aliyev, and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev released a statement stating their intention to "resolve all controversial questions in a peaceful manner" after meeting, in Russia's Black Sea resort of Sochi.

They agreed to investigate skirmishes along the cease-fire line that killed more than 20 soldiers last year, along with other measures intended to defuse tensions.

Azerbaijan has recently threatened to use force to win back Karabakh if peace talks do not yield results, while Armenia has warned of large-scale retaliation if Baku launches military action.

Ethnic Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh reported the death of one of their soldiers in a shooting attack in the hours ahead of the Sochi talks. Ethnic Armenian defense sources quoted by the Interfax news agency said the soldier had been killed by sniper fire from Azerbaijani positions.

Armenians and Azerbaijanis fought a war from 1991-94 for control of Nagorno-Karabakh, with Armenian forces capturing the region.

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

compiled from local agency reports