In reality the road stretched only a few hundred meters, but it seemed as if it spanned two separate worlds. In traveling this route, Carey Cavanaugh, Philippe de Suramaen and Nikolai Gribkov - three mediators in ongoing talks in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict - hoped to underscore the potential for a settlement. What they found, however, is that substantial obstacles remain standing in the way of peace.
The three men -- who represent the United States, France and Russia, respectively -- are charged with trying to find a solution to the 13-year-old Nagorno-Karabakh dispute, working under the auspices of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's so-called "Minsk Group." They recently completed a four-day tour of Azerbaijan and Armenia, crossing a frontline that had remained largely "no-man's land" since the signing of a ceasefire in 1994. [For background information, see EurasiaNet's Recaps archive].
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David Stern is the Caucasus and Central Asia correspondent for the Financial Times. He is based in Baku. He was among a contingent of international press that accompanied the Minsk Group mediators on the tour of Armenia and Azerbaijan.