Armenia, Azerbaijan Reach Ceasefire, Begin «Substantive Negotiations» .

Armenia, Azerbaijan Reach Ceasefire, Begin 'Substantive Negotiations'

Russian Foreign Minister (C) chairs a meeting of Armenia Minister (R) and Azerbaijan Minister in Moscow.

Moscow:

Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed to a ceasefire from noon Saturday and to begin "substantive talks" over Nagorno-Karabakh, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said after marathon negotiations in Moscow.

Speaking after 11 hours of talks between the foreign ministers of arch-enemies Armenia and Azerbaijan, Lavrov said the warring sides agreed on a ceasefire from "12 hours 00 minutes on October 10 on humanitarian grounds."

Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova confirmed to AFP that the ceasefire would begin from noon Saturday.

During the ceasefire -- mediated by the International Committee of the Red Cross -- the parties will exchange dead bodies and prisoners, Lavrov said, reading from a statement.

"Concrete parameters of the ceasefire will be agreed separately," the statement said.

Russia's top diplomat also said that Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed to start seeking a lasting solution to the territorial dispute.

"Azerbaijan and Armenia begin substantive negotiations with the purpose of achieving a peaceful settlement as soon as possible," Lavrov told reporters, adding that such talks will be mediated by the Minsk Group of international negotiators.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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