Moscow, March 13 (RFE/RL) -- U.S. Deputy Secretary of
State Strobe Talbott left Moscow today after holding talks with
Russian officials to lay the groundwork for U.S. Secretary of State
Warren Christopher's visit on March 21.
Talbott is now traveling to Baku, where he will hold talks with
Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliyev. He will then go on to Erevan,
for talks with Armenian President Levon Ter-Petrosian. Talbott is
hoping to advance the peace process in Nagorno-Karabakh.
Two high-ranking Russian envoys, First Deputy Foreign Minister
Boris Pastukhov and special envoy Vladimir Kazimirov are already in
the region. They are scheduled to arrive in Nagorno-Karabakh today
after holding talks in Erevan with Armenian officials.
Fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh, a predominantly Armenian enclave in
Azerbaijan, erupted in 1988. The area is now controlled by Armenian
forces. A ceasefire sponsored by the Organization for Security and
Cooperation in Europe has been in effect since May of last year, but
negotiators have been unable to achieve a permanent cessation of