International mediators were meeting with Armenian officials Thursday ahead of next week's crucial Armenian-Azerbaijan summit on the status of the disputed enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh. A day after visiting the Azerbaijani capital Baku, diplomats from Russia, France and the United States traveled to Yerevan for talks about the meeting between presidents Ilham Aliev of Azerbaijan and Robert Kocharian of Armenia, to be held in Rambouillet, France, on Feb. 10-11.
An uneasy cease-fire has held since 1994, the end of a six-year war over control of the mountainous, mainly ethnic Armenian enclave inside Azerbaijan. The conflict killed 30,000 people and displaced a million more and was one of the bloodiest surrounding the breakup of the Soviet Union.
Representatives from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's so-called Minsk Group have been intensively involved in trying to broker a final resolution on the enclave's status, which has tied up development in the strategic Caucasus region.
In an address published in state newspapers Wednesday, Aliev maintained a tough stance, saying his nation would never compromise on its territorial integrity, reports the AP. I.L.
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