The landlocked mountainous region of Nagorno-Karabakh has been the subject of an unresolved dispute between Azerbaijan and the region’s ethnic Armenian majority, backed by neighboring Armenia. In 1988, Azerbaijani troops and Armenian secessionists began a war which left the de facto independent state in the hands of ethnic Armenians when a truce was signed in 1994. Significant progress was reported at talks between the leaders in May and November 2009, but the momentum has stalled, and since then a number of serious ceasefire violations have taken place.
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