Europe

Putin brings together presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, meets with Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev, left, and Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan in St. Petersburg, Russia, Monday, June 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky, pool)

    Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, meets with Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev, left, and Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan in St. Petersburg, Russia, Monday, June 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky, pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin, front, walks  with Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev, right back, and Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, left back, during their meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia, Monday, June 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky, pool)

    Russian President Vladimir Putin, front, walks with Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev, right back, and Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, left back, during their meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia, Monday, June 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky, pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, front, and Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev, left back, attend a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg, Russia, Monday, June 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky, pool)

    Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, front, and Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev, left back, attend a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg, Russia, Monday, June 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky, pool)  (The Associated Press)

In talks hosted by Russian President Vladimir Putin, the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan have confirmed their readiness to seek a peaceful solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

A joint statement issued by the Kremlin after Monday's talks says with the aim of furthering the peace talks they agreed to increase the number of international observers in the conflict zone.

Nagorno-Karabakh is officially part of Azerbaijan, but since a separatist war ended in 1994 it has been under the control of forces that claim to be local ethnic Armenians but that Azerbaijan claims include regular Armenian military.

An outbreak of fighting in April killed about 75 soldiers from both sides.

In the joint statement, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev expressed satisfaction that a cease-fire is now holding.