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Leaders Of Azerbaijan, Armenia Meet With Putin For Talks On Nagorno-Karabakh

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev (right) and his Armenian counterpart, Serzh Sarkisian, pictured in 2013.

In talks in the Russian city of St. Petersburg, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian expressed readiness to seek a peaceful solution to the conflict over Azerbaijan’s breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted the June 20 meeting -- the second between Aliyev and Sarkisian since a truce was established in early April to halt four days of fighting around Nagorno-Karabakh between Azerbaijan’s military and Armenia-backed separatists.

In a joint statement issued by the Kremlin after the talks, the sides expressed satisfaction that the cease-fire was holding and agreed to increase the number of international observers in the conflict zone.

Aliyev and Sarkisian last met in Vienna in May.

Armenian-backed separatists seized the mainly Armenian-populated region from Azerbaijan during a war in the early 1990s that killed some 30,000 people.

Despite shaky cease-fire deals, diplomatic efforts to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute have brought little progress.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, Interfax, and TASS