CrisisWatch Azerbaijan

Unchanged Situation

Tensions with Armenia persisted amid numerous reports of shooting along border and in Nagorno-Karabakh (NK); diplomatic efforts to reach peace deal continued.

Armenia and Azerbaijan traded accusations of shooting along border. Situation at Armenia-Azerbaijan border remained fragile following Sept clashes, with both sides reporting shooting along front line during month. Kremlin 7 Nov called on parties to refrain from actions that could spark “escalation”, while U.S. State Dept 12 Nov said it was “deeply concerned” by reports. Meanwhile, tensions simmered in NK conflict zone, with de facto authorities reporting one civilian and at least two servicemen killed 10, 28 Nov respectively (see Nagorno-Karabakh).

Support for bilateral diplomacy continued, but Azerbaijan contested French efforts. U.S. Sec State Antony Blinken 7 Nov hosted Armenian and Azerbaijani FMs in U.S. capital Washington, praising “courageous steps” toward peace. French President Macron and Armenian PM Pashinyan 19 Nov highlighted importance of “strengthening stability and security in the South Caucasus” during Summit of International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF) in Tunisia; according to Pashinyan’s press office, Armenian PM also “stressed the need to eliminate the consequences of Azerbaijani aggression”. Azerbaijan same day criticised OIF members’ “anti-Azerbaijani position” while President Aliyev 25 Nov cancelled Dec meeting with Pashinyan over Armenian request to involve Macron. Meanwhile, Pashinyan 10 Nov made public Armenian proposal to establish demilitarised zone along state border after Azerbaijani troops withdraw from Armenian territory; Baku had not responded by end of month.

In other important developments. President Aliyev 16 Nov signed decree endorsing program for reconstruction and resettlement in territories recaptured during 2020 war; under program, known as “The Great Return”, Azerbaijan plans to return 34,500 displaced families between 2022-2026. Parliament 18 Nov approved decision to open embassy in Israel, which has had an embassy in capital Baku since 1992.

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In The News

13 Jul 2020
Many people would be very surprised if clashes at the Armenia-Azerbaijan border spiral out into war, but that doesn’t mean something cannot happen, say, in the Nagorno-Ka... OC Media

Olesya Vartanyan

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