Nagorno-Karabakh: Local Armenian Reps. Meet with Azeri Side

    Nagorno-Karabakh: Local Armenian Reps. Meet with Azeri Side
    Last updated Sep 21, 2023
    Image credit: Wikimedia Commons


    • Armenian leaders from Nagorno-Karabakh met with Azerbaijani officials on Thursday to discuss the dissolution of their unrecognized state, with Azerbaijan’s president saying that the "reintegration of the Armenian population of Karabakh, restoration of infrastructure and organization of activities based on the Constitution and laws of the Republic of Azerbaijan" had been discussed. Meanwhile, locals reported that some armed clashes may have erupted in the region's de facto capital, among other areas.
    • After Azerbaijan launched a military operation on Tuesday against the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is under ethnic-Armenian control, local forces surrendered on Wednesday under a Russian-brokered agreement to dissolve their military forces, disarm, and engage in talks regarding how to integrate the contested region into Azerbaijan. Local officials reported that scores of soldiers and civilians were killed and wounded in the fighting.
    • Azerbaijan said it used "precision weapons" in carrying out air strikes. Local representatives in the region claimed that "mass shelling" had taken place. Russia, which has troops on the ground in Nagorno-Karabakh as part of the agreement that ended the most recent war over the region in 2020, called for both sides to return to a cease-fire and a diplomatic solution to the conflict.
    • Armenia urged Russian forces deployed in the area to intervene and prevent the Azerbaijani offensive, saying that Azerbaijan was engaged in a “full-scale aggression” against the local Armenian population. Turkey — which supports Azerbaijan both militarily and diplomatically — claimed that Azerbaijan was forced to act, saying that Nagorno-Karabakh is sovereign Azerbaijani territory.
    • Azerbaijan claimed that it sought to evacuate the region's Armenian population from “dangerous areas," raising concerns over allegations of ethnic cleansing. The Azerbaijani defense ministry said it had established “humanitarian corridors and reception points” in order to “ensure the evacuation of the population from the dangerous area.”
    • The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan goes back to the fall of the Soviet Union, when both countries, at the time republics within the USSR, declared independence — with both claiming sovereignty over Nagorno-Karbakh, which is a majority-Armenian region within Azerbaijan's official borders. In the first war in the early 1990s, Armenia managed to capture the entire area, as well as neighboring majority-Azerbaijani regions that link Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia.
    • A second war erupted in 2020, with Azerbaijan capturing swaths of territory from Armenia and its local allied forces, with Russia playing a key role in negotiating a ceasefire that ended hostilities. Tensions increasingly rose this year after Azerbaijan enacted a partial blockade of the Lachin corridor, the only road that links Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia.


    Narrative A

    It is clear what Azerbaijan's intentions are — ethnically cleanse Nagorno-Karabakh, known to Armenians as Artsakh. Azerbaijan, after weakening the region through months of a brutal siege, has decided that it does not need to follow international law or norms and can simply attack Artsakh's Armenian population. Without outside intervention and protection, thousands of years of Armenian history, heritage, and culture will be erased. Civilians were already enduring hard times due to the siege, and now they face the loss of their homeland.

    Narrative B

    Azerbaijan has finally triumphed and reclaimed its sovereignty over Nagorno-Karabakh. The goals of this anti-terror operation were to simply dislodge Armenia's military presence in the region and ensure the return of refugees displaced by Armenia in the first war. The civilian population and civilian infrastructure were not targeted, as Azerbaijan was only interested in neutralizing Armenian military targets. The only good war is a short war, and peace can finally return to the region.

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