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Armenia and Azerbaijan to hold peace settlement talks in Washington on Sunday

FILE PHOTO: A service member of the Russian peacekeeping troops stands next to a tank in Nagorno-Karabakh

MOSCOW (Reuters) -Armenia and Azerbaijan will hold a new round of talks in Washington on Sunday to try to normalise relations, Yerevan said on Saturday, after weeks of rising tensions over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Armed forces from the two Caucasus neighbours have frequently exchanged fire amid disputes over the mountain enclave, which is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan but populated mainly by ethnic Armenians.

Azerbaijan set up a new checkpoint last Sunday on the Lachin corridor, a road to Karabakh that passes through Azeri territory, in a move that Armenia that called a gross violation of a 2020 ceasefire.

"From April 30 Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia Ararat Mirzoyan will be in Washington DC on a working visit. The next round of discussions on the agreement on normalisation of relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan is scheduled," the spokesperson, Ani Badalyan, said on her official Facebook page.

There was no immediate confirmation of the meeting by Azerbaijan.

Later on Saturday, the Armenian defence ministry said one of its soldiers had been injured by shot fired by Azeri forces near the village of Tegh in Armenia's southern Syunik province, Tass news agency said.

Tegh is the last village on the Lachin Corridor in Armenia before it enters Azeri territory.

Russian peacekeepers were deployed in 2020 to end a war, the second that Armenia and Azerbaijan have fought over the enclave since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union.

Despite years of attempted mediation between them, Armenia and Azerbaijan have yet to reach a peace agreement that would settle outstanding issues such as the demarcation of borders and return of prisoners.

(Reporting by ReutersEditing by Alexandra Hudson, David Ljunggren and Diane Craft)