Azeri president says Armenians can have 'cultural autonomy' in Nagorno-Karabakh

Azeri President Ilham Aliyev attends a meeting with his Belarussian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko in Minsk, Belarus November 19, 2018. REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Azeri President Ilham Aliyev on Thursday said he would not rule out what he termed ‘cultural autonomy’ for ethnic Armenians in the mountain enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, Russia’s RIA news agency reported.

Aliyev said he was not against the introduction of observers and peacekeepers in the region, but that Baku would present its own conditions.

Hopes of ending nearly a month of bloodshed were receding as Azeri and ethnic Armenian forces fought new battles on the eve of talks in Washington.

Reporting by Anton Kolodyazhnyy and Margarita Antidze; Writing by Alexander Marrow; Editing by Kevin Liffey