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Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov (file photo) (epa)
April 8, 2006 -- Azerbaijan's Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov today said the United States made him "very interesting" proposals on how to solve his country's territorial dispute with Armenia.
Speaking after talks with U.S. officials in Washington, Mammadyarov said Baku would make its response public when U.S. envoy Steven Mann visits the Azerbaijani capital on April 18.
Before meeting with Mammadyarov on April 7, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice reportedly talked with the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents over the phone.
Yerevan and Baku have been formally at war since 1988, when the predominantly ethnic Armenian enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh seceded from Soviet Azerbaijan.
The United States, Russia, and France co-chair the Minsk Group of nations mandated by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to mediate between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Click on the image to view an enlarged map of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone
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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