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Armenia and Azerbaijan say they will implement ceasefire agreement Monday

Armenia and Azerbaijan say they will implement ceasefire agreement Monday
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Officials from Armenia and Azerbaijan announced that their respective countries would implement a ceasefire agreement on Monday, a sign of growing stability following weeks of conflict over the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region.

In a statement released jointly by the governments of the U.S., Armenia and Azerbaijan, officials "reaffirmed their countries’ commitment to implement and abide by the humanitarian ceasefire agreed in Moscow on October 10."

That ceasefire, signed earlier this month, would bring to a halt a growing conflict between the two former Soviet republics that had so far claimed the lives of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of troops on both sides as well as dozens of civilians.

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Fighting began in September over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, which exists as the Republic of Artsakh, claimed by both nations,  but is recognized internationally as part of Azerbaijan. It is home to many ethnic Armenians and has been a source of dispute between the two countries for decades.

"The humanitarian ceasefire will take effect at 08:00 a.m. local time (12:00 a.m. EDT) on October 26, 2020," the statement from the two countries and the U.S. government continued. "The United States facilitated intensive negotiations among the Foreign Ministers and the Minsk Group Co-Chairs to move Armenia and Azerbaijan closer to a peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict."

U.S. Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoPompeo says Mideast strategy will be Trump administration policy 'until our time is complete' Trump administration pulls out of Open Skies treaty with Russia Tibetan political leader makes visit to White House for first time in six decades MORE added on Twitter that Sunday's development signaled that the two countries were committed to seeking a "peaceful" resolution to their dispute over the region.

"Today, the U.S. facilitated an intensive negotiation with the FMs of Armenia, Azerbaijan, & @OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs to move closer to a peaceful resolution of the N-K conflict. @ZMnatsakanyan & @bayramov_jeyhun have committed to implement & abide by the ceasefire at midnight," he tweeted.

The Trump administration has sought to flaunt its diplomatic efforts in recent weeks as President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden to nominate Linda Thomas-Greenfield for UN ambassador: reports Scranton dedicates 'Joe Biden Way' to honor president-elect Kasich: Republicans 'either in complete lockstep' or 'afraid' of Trump MORE seeks reelection in a contentious campaign against former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden to nominate Linda Thomas-Greenfield for UN ambassador: reports Scranton dedicates 'Joe Biden Way' to honor president-elect Kasich: Republicans 'either in complete lockstep' or 'afraid' of Trump MORE (D). In September, the White House hosted the leaders of Israel, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates for a ceremony marking the normalization of relations between Israel and the two nations, an agreement that the president's allies touted as historic in subsequent days.