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OSCE Minsk Group to hold meeting on Nagorno-Karabakh

France, Russia, and the US will hold a meeting on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia in Washington on Oct. 23, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday.

The meeting will be held under the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group, formed in 1992 to find a peaceful solution to the conflict.

"We continue active mediation efforts aimed at ending the bloody conflict in the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement zone. The issues of the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement were discussed on October 20 and 21 in Moscow during separate meetings between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia.

"As before, we are working in the format of the OSCE Minsk group co-chairmanship. The next meeting of the mediators is scheduled for tomorrow in Washington," Zakharova said at a news conference in Moscow.

Since Oct. 10, Armenia has violated two humanitarian cease-fires in Upper Karabakh, or Nagorno-Karabakh, an internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan.

A new humanitarian cease-fire entered into force last Saturday.

Relations between the two former Soviet republics have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Upper Karabakh.

Four UN Security Council resolutions and two from the UN General Assembly, as well as international organizations, demand the “immediate complete and unconditional withdrawal of the occupying forces” from Azerbaijani territory.

About 20% of Azerbaijan's territory -- including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions -- has been under illegal Armenian occupation for nearly three decades.

World powers, including Russia, France, and the US, have called for a new cease-fire. Turkey, meanwhile, has supported Baku's right to self-defense and demanded the withdrawal of Armenia's occupying forces.

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