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Armenia/Azerbaijan: Today Marks Anniversary of 'Nagorno-Karabakh Republic'

Baku, 2 September 1996 (RFE/RL) -- Today is the fifth anniversary of the declaration of the "Nagorno-Karabakh republic" by separatist Armenians in Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan's government last month issued a warning that any involvement by the Erevan government in celebrations marking the anniversary will be viewed by Baku with contempt.

Nagorno-Karabakh is an enclave in Azerbaijan on its border with Armenia. The enclave's Armenian majority has been seeking to break away from Azerbaijan since 1988.

Separatist leaders proclaimed the "Nagorno-Karabakh republic" on September 2, 1991 in Stepanakert. More than 10,000 people were killed in fighting before a ceasefire was agreed in May 1994.

Talks were reported in Germany last week between Armenian and Azerbaijan negotiators trying to find a political solution to the conflict. Azerbaijan has said it is prepared to grant autonomy to Nagorno-Karabakh if Armenian forces pull out, but will not accept independence for the enclave.