The foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan, Vartan Oskanian and Elmar Mammadyarov, will meet in London on 15 April to discuss new proposals drafted by the OSCE Minsk Group for resolving the Karabakh conflict, a Moscow correspondent for RFE/RL's Armenian Service reported on 5 April quoting Yurii Merzlyakov, the Russian Minsk Group Co-chairman.
As they look back at 2004, both Armenia and Azerbaijan are claiming that fresh hope now exists for a permanent peace agreement on the status of the breakaway enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh. Yet for all the official optimism, few concrete results exist to point to anything but more of the same impasse.
It could be viewed as a success. According to the UN's refugee agency, the UNHCR, 21 percent of refugees in Armenia have gained Armenian citizenship since 1995. That, says the UNHCR, is one of the highest rates of voluntary naturalization anywhere in the world in recent decades.
Over the past month and a half, two souvenir currency notes from Nagorno-Karabakh have unleashed a storm of accusations and counter-accusations between Azerbaijani officials and representatives of the Armenian-controlled, self-styled republic of Nagorno-Karabakh.
On May 12, 1994, a ceasefire brought a halt to fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh, a conflict that embroiled Armenia and Azerbaijan and Karabakh Armenians. In the decade since then, the two countries, along with representatives of the unrecognized Karabakh Republic, have been unable to agree on a political settlement.
Turkish and Azerbaijani officials have defused a simmering bilateral dispute concerning the Nagorno-Karabakh issue, jointly endorsing a "gradual approach" on a negotiated settlement of the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia. The announcement came amid new international efforts to jump-start the peace process.
International mediators and political analysts expected the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process to accelerate once Azerbaijan completed a transfer of power from former leader Heidar Aliyev to his son Ilham. The dynastic transition of authority occurred as expected, but Karabakh developments have not gone as many envisioned.
Less than a week after former Azerbaijani president Heidar Aliyev died in the United States, representatives from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia met in Scotland to discuss the ongoing conflict that shaped much of Aliyev's legacy.
Tension between Armenia and Azerbaijan is again flaring over Nagorno-Karabakh. Numerous ceasefire violations have been reported in July, with both sides accusing the other of stoking external conflict in order to divert attention from domestic political difficulties.
On February 20, 1988, the local assembly of Nagorno-Karabakh issued a stunning, plainly-worded resolution that called for the transfer of their autonomous region from the republic of Azerbaijan to the republic of Armenia.