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Azerbaijan, Armenia Agree to Discuss Peace Settlement

The presidents of arch-foes Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed Tuesday to discuss a peace settlement over the disputed region of Nagorny Karabakh, the European security body OSCE said.

"The presidents agreed to advance negotiations toward a peaceful settlement... They agreed to meet again in the months ahead," the OSCE said in a statement after the two leaders met in Vienna.

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Armenian, Azerbaijan Leaders to Have First Meeting in Two Years

The presidents of arch-foes Armenia and Azerbaijan will meet in Vienna Tuesday for the first time in two years in a bid to restart stalled negotiations over the disputed region of Nagorny Karabakh, mediators said.

Armenia's Serzh Sarkisian and Azerbaijan's Ilham Aliyev will meet along with mediators from the Organisation for the Security and Co-operation in Europe's (OSCE) Minsk Group, which has been spearheading attempts to negotiate a solution to the conflict.

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Azerbaijan Sentences Two Critics to Lengthy Jail Terms

Azerbaijan has jailed an anti-government blogger and opposition journalist to lengthy jail terms on charges both claim are politically motivated, one of the men's lawyers and a court source said Thursday.

Rashad Ramazanov, a writer who has criticized strongman President Ilham Aliyev online, was jailed for nine years on Wednesday after he was arrested in May on drug possession charges he claims are trumped-up, his lawyer Azer Nagiev said.

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Azerbaijani Leader Replaces Veteran Defense Chief

Azerbaijani strongman leader Ilham Aliyev has replaced his long-standing defense minister in a surprise move announced during the unveiling of new a cabinet following his crushing presidential election win.

Aliyev ditched Safar Abiyev, who has held the post since the mid-1990s, late Tuesday in favour of interior troop commander Zakir Gasanov.

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Armenia, Azerbaijan Border Clash Kills One

Azerbaijani forces on Tuesday killed an Armenian soldier and injured three more along the volatile border between the two arch-enemies, the Armenian government said.

Garik Pogosyan, 19, was killed when the convoy he was in came under fire on a road that runs along the border, the defense ministry said in a statement.

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Azeri Strongman Sworn in after Criticized Poll

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev was sworn in for a third term on Saturday after romping to victory in a widely criticized election in the oil-rich ex-Soviet country.

The inauguration ceremony took place in the parliament in Baku immediately after the constitutional court confirmed Aliyev's crushing win in an October 9 poll that international observers called seriously flawed.

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Thousands Protest Aliyev Poll Landslide in Azerbaijan

Some 6,000 opposition supporters rallied in Baku on Saturday to protest strongman Ilham Aliyev's crushing victory in an election that observers said fell short of international standards.

Aliyev cruised to a third term that sees him extend his family's decades-long rule in the ex-Soviet state with some 85 percent of the vote in Wednesday's poll, far ahead of main challenger Jamil Hasanli on around 5.5 percent, according to the official results.

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Azerbaijan Lashes out at U.S. over Election Criticism

Oil-rich Azerbaijan on Friday lashed out at the U.S. for criticizing a presidential poll that saw strongman Ilham Aliyev claim a third term with a crushing victory to extend his family's decades-long rule.

Aliyev -- who has ensured the strategically-located ex-Soviet state enjoys warm relations with the U.S. -- won with some 85 percent of the vote at Wednesday's poll, far ahead of main challenger Jamil Hasanli on around 5.5 percent, according to the official results.

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U.S. 'Disturbed' by Flaws in Azerbaijan Polls

The United States said Thursday it was "disturbed" that elections in Azerbaijan failed to meet international norms after President Ilham Aliyev cruised to a third term.

"We repeatedly called on the government of Azerbaijan to ensure a free and fair electoral process, and we regret that this election fell short of international standards," State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said.

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Leader Hails Poll 'Triumph', OSCE Concerned

Azerbaijani strongman Ilham Aliyev on Thursday hailed as a "triumph of democracy" a landslide election victory that further extended the ruling dynasty's grip on power but OSCE observers complained the vote was marred by serious problems.

Final results saw Aliyev score 84.6 percent to win a third presidential term at Wednesday's vote in the ex-Soviet state, while main opposition challenger Jamil Hasanli was far back in second place with 5.5 percent, the electoral commission said.

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