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Presidents Of Armenia And Azerbaijan To Meet

Azeri Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov (pictured) met his Armenian counterpart, Vardan Oskanian, in London (file) (epa) 19 January 2006 (RFE/RL) -- High-level talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan on Nagorno-Karabakh have ended with an announcement of an upcoming meeting between the countries' presidents.

Foreign Ministers Elmar Mammadyarov of Azerbaijan and Armenia's Vardan Oskanian met this week in London.

Oskanian told RFE/RL's Armenian service that the two presidents will come together in France, probably sometime in early February.

"I also can now confirm that there will be a new meeting between the two presidents because that was also decided at this [London] meeting. And the French side has already handed invitations to both presidents."

Predominantly ethnic Armenian Karabakh seceded from Soviet Azerbaijan in 1988, triggering a war that claimed some 30,000 lives and drove more than 800,000 people from their homes. A truce was signed in 1994, but Armenia and Azerbaijan remain formally at war.

(RFE/RL's Armenian service)


Click on the map to see an enlarged map of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict area.

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 occupied most of 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.

For a complete archive of RFE/RL's coverage of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,click here.

Of particular interest:

2005 In Review: Conflicts In Caucasus Still Characterized By Gridlock

Nagorno-Karabakh President Expresses Optimism

Nagorno-Karabakh: OSCE To Unveil New Peace Plan

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