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story.lead_photo.caption A man checks out the damage Friday at a house destroyed by shelling by Azerbaijan’s artillery in Stepanakert, the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh. More photos at arkansasonline.com/1010nagorno/. (AP)

MOSCOW -- Armenia and Azerbaijan said they have agreed to a cease-fire in Nagorno-Karabakh starting at noon today.

The countries' foreign ministers said in a statement that the truce is intended to exchange prisoners and recover the dead, adding that specific details will be agreed on later.

The announcement followed 10 hours of talks in Moscow sponsored by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who read the statement. It stipulated that the cease-fire should pave the way for talks on settling the conflict.

The latest outburst of fighting between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces began Sept. 27 and marked the biggest escalation of the decades-old conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. The region lies in Azerbaijan but has been under control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since the end of a separatist war in 1994.

The talks between the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan were held on invitation from Russian President Vladimir Putin, who brokered the cease-fire in a series of calls with President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan and Armenia's Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian.

Armenia said it's open to holding a cease-fire, while Azerbaijan has made a potential truce conditional on the Armenian forces' withdrawal from Nagorno-Karabakh, arguing that the failure of international efforts to negotiate a settlement left it no other choice but to try to reclaim its lands by force.

Gallery: Armenia, Azerbaijan agree to cease-fire

[Gallery not loading above? Click here for more photos » arkansasonline.com/1010nagorno/]

Speaking in an address to the nation Friday, the Azerbaijani president said nearly three decades of international talks "haven't yielded an inch of progress, we haven't been given back an inch of the occupied lands."

"Mediators and leaders of some international organizations have stated that there is no military solution to the conflict," Aliyev said. "I have disagreed with the thesis, and I have been right. The conflict is now being settled by military means and political means will come next."

If the cease-fire holds, it would mark a major diplomatic coup for Russia that has co-sponsored peace talks on Nagorno-Karabakh together with the United States and France as co-chairs of the so-called Minsk Group, which is working under the auspices of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Fighting with heavy artillery, warplanes and drones has engulfed Nagorno-Karabakh despite numerous international calls for a cease-fire. The sides have accused each other of targeting residential areas and civilian infrastructure.

Stepanakert, the capital of Nagorno-Karabakh, has been under intense shelling. Residents are staying in shelters, some of which are in the basements of apartment buildings.

On Thursday, a historic cathedral in the town of Shusha in Nagorno-Karabakh came under shelling, a shell piercing its dome and damaging the interior. No one was hurt in the attack, but hours later more shelling wounded two Russian journalists inspecting the damage. The Azerbaijani military denied targeting the cathedral.

According to the Nagorno-Karabakh military, 376 of its servicemen have been killed since Sept. 27. Azerbaijan hasn't provided details on its military losses. Scores of civilians on both sides have been killed.

Armenian officials say Turkey is involved in the conflict and is sending Syrian mercenaries to fight on Azerbaijan's side.

In an interview with CNN Arabic aired Thursday, Azerbaijan's president admitted that Turkish F-16 fighter jets have stayed on in Azerbaijan weeks after a joint military exercise, but insisted that they have remained grounded. Armenian officials had earlier claimed that a Turkish F-16 shot down an Armenian warplane, a claim that both Turkey and Azerbaijan have denied.

Aliyev's office said French President Emmanuel Macron called him Friday to discuss the conflict, but wouldn't give any details of the conversation.

Information for this article was contributed by Avet Demourian, Aida Sultanova and Sylvie Corbet of The Associated Press.

Smoke rises after shelling by Azerbaijan's artillery during a military conflict in Stepanakert, the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Friday, Oct. 9, 2020. The latest outburst of fighting between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces began Sept. 27 and marked the biggest escalation of the decades-old conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. The region lies in Azerbaijan but has been under control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since the end of a separatist war in 1994. (AP Photo)
Smoke rises after shelling by Azerbaijan's artillery during a military conflict in Stepanakert, the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Friday, Oct. 9, 2020. The latest outburst of fighting between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces began Sept. 27 and marked the biggest escalation of the decades-old conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. The region lies in Azerbaijan but has been under control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since the end of a separatist war in 1994. (AP Photo)
Smoke rises after shelling by Azerbaijan's artillery during a military conflict in outskirts of Stepanakert, the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Friday, Oct. 9, 2020. The latest outburst of fighting between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces began Sept. 27 and marked the biggest escalation of the decades-old conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. The region lies in Azerbaijan but has been under control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since the end of a separatist war in 1994. (AP Photo)
Smoke rises after shelling by Azerbaijan's artillery during a military conflict in outskirts of Stepanakert, the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Friday, Oct. 9, 2020. The latest outburst of fighting between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces began Sept. 27 and marked the biggest escalation of the decades-old conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. The region lies in Azerbaijan but has been under control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since the end of a separatist war in 1994. (AP Photo)
A man throws debris in the yard of a house destroyed by shelling by Azerbaijan's artillery during a military conflict in Stepanakert, the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Friday, Oct. 9, 2020. The latest outburst of fighting between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces began Sept. 27 and marked the biggest escalation of the decades-old conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. The region lies in Azerbaijan but has been under control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since the end of a separatist war in 1994. (AP Photo)
A man throws debris in the yard of a house destroyed by shelling by Azerbaijan's artillery during a military conflict in Stepanakert, the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Friday, Oct. 9, 2020. The latest outburst of fighting between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces began Sept. 27 and marked the biggest escalation of the decades-old conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. The region lies in Azerbaijan but has been under control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since the end of a separatist war in 1994. (AP Photo)
A tomb is damaged by shelling by Azerbaijan's artillery at a cemetery during a military conflict in Stepanakert, the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Friday, Oct. 9, 2020. The latest outburst of fighting between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces began Sept. 27 and marked the biggest escalation of the decades-old conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. The region lies in Azerbaijan but has been under control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since the end of a separatist war in 1994. (AP Photo)
A tomb is damaged by shelling by Azerbaijan's artillery at a cemetery during a military conflict in Stepanakert, the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Friday, Oct. 9, 2020. The latest outburst of fighting between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces began Sept. 27 and marked the biggest escalation of the decades-old conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. The region lies in Azerbaijan but has been under control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since the end of a separatist war in 1994. (AP Photo)
A hole made by shell in the roof of the Holy Savior Cathedral during a military conflict, in Shushi, outside Stepanakert, self-proclaimed Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020. Armenia accused Azerbaijan of firing missiles into the capital of the separatist territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, while Azerbaijan said several of its towns and its second-largest city were attacked. (AP Photo)
A hole made by shell in the roof of the Holy Savior Cathedral during a military conflict, in Shushi, outside Stepanakert, self-proclaimed Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020. Armenia accused Azerbaijan of firing missiles into the capital of the separatist territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, while Azerbaijan said several of its towns and its second-largest city were attacked. (AP Photo)
A man walks in the yard of a house destroyed by shelling by Azerbaijan's artillery during a military conflict in Stepanakert, the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Friday, Oct. 9, 2020. The latest outburst of fighting between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces began Sept. 27 and marked the biggest escalation of the decades-old conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. The region lies in Azerbaijan but has been under control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since the end of a separatist war in 1994. (AP Photo)
A man walks in the yard of a house destroyed by shelling by Azerbaijan's artillery during a military conflict in Stepanakert, the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Friday, Oct. 9, 2020. The latest outburst of fighting between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces began Sept. 27 and marked the biggest escalation of the decades-old conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. The region lies in Azerbaijan but has been under control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since the end of a separatist war in 1994. (AP Photo)
Pigeons fly near Holy Mother of God Cathedral in Stepanakert during a military conflict in the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Friday, Oct. 9, 2020. The latest outburst of fighting between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces began Sept. 27 and marked the biggest escalation of the decades-old conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. The region lies in Azerbaijan but has been under control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since the end of a separatist war in 1994. (AP Photo)
Pigeons fly near Holy Mother of God Cathedral in Stepanakert during a military conflict in the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Friday, Oct. 9, 2020. The latest outburst of fighting between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces began Sept. 27 and marked the biggest escalation of the decades-old conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. The region lies in Azerbaijan but has been under control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since the end of a separatist war in 1994. (AP Photo)
A house is seen after being destroyed by Azerbaijan's artillery shelling during a military conflict in Stepanakert, the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Friday, Oct. 9, 2020. The latest outburst of fighting between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces began Sept. 27 and marked the biggest escalation of the decades-old conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. The region lies in Azerbaijan but has been under control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since the end of a separatist war in 1994. (AP Photo)
A house is seen after being destroyed by Azerbaijan's artillery shelling during a military conflict in Stepanakert, the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Friday, Oct. 9, 2020. The latest outburst of fighting between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces began Sept. 27 and marked the biggest escalation of the decades-old conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. The region lies in Azerbaijan but has been under control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since the end of a separatist war in 1994. (AP Photo)
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