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MOSCOW, July 17. /TASS/. It is high time to intensify efforts for settling the Nagorno-Karabakh problem, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said during his talks with the Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mamedyarov on Friday.
"We have been working in line with the agreements in the framework of co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk group with our American and French counterparts," the Russian foreign minister said. "Our contacts with them are permanent, and their contact us regularly, too."
"I believe the common approach is to move towards results," Lavrov said. "We shall be able to achieve progress of the kind in near future."
Nagorno-Karabakh is a majority Armenian region within Azerbaijan that is de facto independent. The struggle over Nagorno-Karabakh escalated after both Armenia and Azerbaijan obtained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. By the end of 1993, the conflict had caused thousands of casualties and created hundreds of thousands of refugees on both sides. An unofficial ceasefire was reached on May 12, 1994. Since then, Armenia and Azerbaijan have been holding negotiations mediated by the Organization for Security and Cooperation (OSCE) Minsk Group on the region's disputed status.