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U.S. Urges Azerbaijan, Armenia To Settle Karabakh Dispute

Armenian President Robert Kocharian (file photo) 26 August 2005 (RFE/RL) -- U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is urging the leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia to reach a settlement of the dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh.

The U.S. State Department said Rice spoke by telephone to presidents Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan and Robert Kocharian of Armenia on 25 August in advance of the planned talks between the two leaders on 27 August in the Russian city of Kazan, on the sidelines of click a Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) summit.

A State Department statement said Rice expressed the hope that the two leaders would "make the compromises necessary" to reach a settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

The statement said Aliyev and Kocharian appeared "upbeat about the prospects for making progress," but gave no further details.

Nagorno-Karabakh, a mostly ethnic Armenian enclave, broke away from Soviet Azerbaijan in 1988, sparking a war in which some 35,000 people were killed. A cease-fire took effect in 1994.


See also:

"Expectations Muted On Eve Of Karabakh Talks"