Founded roughly 250 years ago on a picturesque hillside in what today is the disputed region of Nagorno Karabakh, Shusha was once a celebrated town that embodied the creative energies of both ethnic Azeris and ethnic Armenians.
An appeal by Catholicos Garegin II, Armenia’s religious leader, to President Serzh Sargsyan to hand over to Azerbaijan the body of an Azerbaijani soldier killed in a frontline shootout this summer has set off a church-state debate in Yerevan.
Since the year 2000, the international mine clearance organization HALO Trust has disarmed more than 10,000 landmines in Nagorno-Karabakh left behind by both Armenian and Azeri fighters. The operation, which is funded by the USAID, the British government, and private donors, has cleared more than 55,000 acres, or 80 percent of the affected area.
The leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia support the "basic principles" of a proposed plan to resolve the two countries' long struggle over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced on January 26.
International mediators in the Nagorno-Karabakh peace talks expressed reserved optimism following the latest round of talk between Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.
Armenia President Serzh Sargsyan and Azerbaijan leader Ilham Aliyev held two hours of face-to-face talks on July 17, seeking to achieve a breakthrough in the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process. Neither Armenian nor Azerbaijani officials released details about the discussion, held in Moscow.