Nagorno-Karabakh troops in training exercises last year (file photo) (Photolur)
14 February 2006 -- Armenia says it is confident of further negotiations with Azerbaijan over the disputed enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh after recent talks in France failed to produce a breakthrough.
The presidents of the two countries held face-to-face talks on 10-11 February outside Paris on the status of the Armenian-majority enclave.
In the run-up to the summit, diplomats had expressed guarded optimism that progress could be made in settling the 18-year-old dispute, which has claimed at least 25,000 lives and driven more than a million people from their homes.
The Minsk group of Russian, French, and U.S. mediators are set to meet in Washington in March to formulate the framework of future negotiations.
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In February 1988, the local assembly in Stepanakert, the local capital of the Azerbaijani region of NAGORNO-KARABAKH, passed a resolution calling for unification of the predominantly ethnic-Armenian region with Armenia. There were reports of violence against local Azeris, followed by attacks against Armenians in the Azerbaijani city of Sumgait. In 1991-92, Azerbaijani forces launched an offensive against separatist forces in Nagorno-Karabakh, but the Armenians counterattacked and by 1993-94 had seized almost all of the region, as well as vast areas around it. About 600,000 Azeris were displaced and as many as 25,000 people were killed before a Russian-brokered cease-fire was imposed in May 1994.
CHRONOLOGY: For an annotated timeline of the fighting around Nagorno-Karabakh in 1988-94 and the long search for a permanent settlement to the conflict, click here.
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