Leaders of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey hold separate talks on disputed region

Azeri President Ilham Aliev met with Armenian and Turkish leaders at separate talks early Monday to discuss the disputed enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, an official said.

Aliev first met with Armenian President Robert Kocharian, followed by a meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said Council of Europe official Seyfi Tashan.

The meetings, which took place just past midnight Monday ahead of the two-day Council of Europe summit, focused on the presence of Armenian troops in Nagorno-Karabakh, a mountainous region inside Azerbaijan that has been under the control of ethnic Armenians since the early 1990s, following fighting that killed an estimated 30,000 people.

A cease-fire was signed in 1994, but the enclave's final political status has not been determined and shooting breaks out frequently between the two sides, which face off across a demilitarized buffer zone.

Associated Press

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