Prague, 1 November 1996 (RFE/RL) -- The United States says it is deeply concerned about so-called "presidential" elections set for Nagorno-Karabakh next month. A faxed statement from the U.S. embassy in Baku says the elections come at an unwelcome moment with peace negotiations at a delicate stage.
The United States says it is opposed to actions by any party that could be construed as prejudging or complicating the outcome of the peace process. In the statement, the United States called on all parties to the negotiations to redouble their commitment to a negotiated status on the future of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Russian reports earlier today said no progress was reported at the latest round of talks on the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute. Two days of talks sponsored by a special group within the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) concluded yesterday in Moscow. The next round of talks was set for next month in Helsinki.
Nagorno-Karabakh is located inside Azerbaijan but is populated mainly by ethnic Armenians. About 25,000 people have died and about one million have become refugees since the enclave's war for independence started in 1988. The OSCE arranged a ceasefire, which halted hostilities in the conflict more than two years ago. But no permanent settlement has been reached.