The foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia, whose peoples are locked in a bitter struggle over the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave, called on Thursday for an immediate cease-fire.
The agreement came four years after Karabakh lawmakers sparked the conflict by requesting a reversal of the 1921 Kremlin ruling that attached their agricultural homeland, largely peopled by Armenians, to Azerbaijan and not Armenia.
In their statement, foreign ministers Husein-Aga Sadykhov of Azerbaijan and Raffi Hovannisian of Armenia called for an end to the blockading of supply lines and communications by the warring factions, especially to allow delivery of humanitarian aid.
Hovannisian called the document he signed with Sadykhov "a small step" _ but an important one _ to resolving what had been one of the deadliest ethnic feuds in the now-defunct Soviet Union.
Hovannisian said the agreement had not yet been approved by authorities in Nagorno-Karabakh. The agreement also was to be referred to the Armenian and Azerbaijani parliaments and presidents for binding action.
Since February 1988, more than 1,000 people have been killed in the ethnic strife unleashed by the territorial dispute.
CIS chief: U.S. sub knew where it was: Commonwealth Commander-in-Chief Yevgeny Shaposhnikov suggested Thursday in Moscow that a U.S. submarine involved in a collision with a CIS submarine would have known it was entering a training ground for the former Soviet navy.
Shaposhnikov told the Russian parliament that the area of the Barents Sea where the two nuclear-powered submarines collided Feb. 11 was a well-established training ground.
U.S. officials say the incident took place in international waters outside the 12-mile Russian coastal limit. Moscow has said the collision occurred in Russian territorial waters.
"Foreign ships have no business there," Shaposhnikov said.
The commonwealth navy has said it will protest to Washington about the collision between the Los Angeles-class attack submarine Baton Rouge and the unnamed CIS craft.
Russia to allow Honecker to go to hospital: Russia has agreed to let former East German leader Erich Honecker leave his diplomatic sanctuary in Moscow for hospital treatment, a German Embassy spokesman said Thursday. But it was unclear what would happen later to Honecker, who has been holed up in the Chilean Embassy and is wanted in Germany for authorizing the killing of people fleeing to the West.
Doctors proposed Honecker, 79, be hospitalized for a liver biopsy, Chilean officials said.
_ Information from the Los Angeles Times, Associated Press and Reuters was used in this report.