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Armenia, Azerbaijan agree on ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh

(Xinhua)    10:25, October 10, 2020

MOSCOW, Oct. 10 (Xinhua) -- Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed on a ceasefire in the Nagorno-Karabakh region starting Saturday noon, following lengthy negotiations in Moscow on Friday night.

On early Saturday morning, the Russian Foreign Ministry said the deal was announced in a joint statement by Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

"The specific parameters of the ceasefire regime will be agreed upon additionally," the statement read.

In accordance with the deal, Armenia and Azerbaijan will exchange prisoners, other detained persons, and bodies of the dead under the mediation of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

The countries agreed to begin "substantive negotiations" for a peaceful settlement as soon as possible under the mediation of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Minsk Group co-chairs.

The parties have also confirmed the invariability of the negotiations format.

The deal was reached in accordance with what Russian President Vladimir Putin, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan have agreed upon, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

Moscow has repeatedly urged a ceasefire and a political settlement of the differences. The closed-door meeting of the three foreign ministers lasted about 10 hours, marking the longest one on Nagorno-Karabakh over the past two decades.

Armenia and Azerbaijan have been at loggerheads over the mountainous region of Nagorno-Karabakh since 1988. Peace talks have been held since 1994 when a ceasefire was reached, but there have been sporadic minor clashes.

A new round of armed conflict broke out on Sept. 27 along the contact line of the Nagorno-Karabakh region. The clashes have reportedly caused heavy casualties and equipment losses.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Wu Chaolan, Liang Jun)

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