BAKU, August 2 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's mediation in the dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Nagorny Karabakh region is producing results, Azerbaijani Defense Minister Safar Abiyev said on Sunday.
"The efforts being taken by Russia to settle the conflict deserve respect and are encouraging," Abiyev said during a meeting with Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, who is on a working visit to Baku.
In July, Moscow hosted bilateral talks on Nagorny Karabakh between the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents, which were joined by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev the following day.
Nagorny Karabakh, a region in Azerbaijan with a largely Armenian population, has been a source of conflict between the former Soviet republics since the late 1980s. The province has its own government and is de facto independent.
The war between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the mountainous enclave in 1988-1994 left an estimated 35,000 people dead. Sporadic violence on the border has continued ever since.
The Azerbaijani defense minister warned that if the conflict is not resolved peacefully, military confrontation will be inevitable.