Azerbaijan is keen to resettle territories regained from Armenian control. Landmines are its largest headache. To woo foreign support, Baku should be more welcoming of outside expertise. Along with Yerevan, it should also unlink demining from the conflict and consider joining the landmine ban treaty.
Armenia’s leader expressed hope for peace deal with Azerbaijan in coming months amid flurry of international diplomacy.
Various international actors stepped up efforts for peace deal with Armenia. Following Azerbaijan’s one-day military offensive in Nagorno-Karabakh (see Nagorno-Karabakh (Azerbaijan)), EU prepared for 5 Oct talks between President Aliyev and Armenian PM Pashinyan in Granada, Spain, moderated by French, German and EU leaders; Baku day before announced Aliyev would not attend, citing French bias toward Armenia and France’s refusal to include Türkiye in discussions. Meeting in Belgian capital Brussels slated for late Oct postponed. FMs from Iran, Türkiye and Russia 23 Oct met Azerbaijani and Armenian counterparts in Iran. Participants reiterated respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity and “non-interference in internal affairs” after Iranian and Russian FMs criticised Western intervention in region. Speaking from Georgian capital Tbilisi, with Azerbaijani and Georgian PMs in attendance, Pashinyan 26 Oct announced sides were working on deal that could be signed “in coming months”.
Fears of new war between Azerbaijan and Armenia persisted. Baku’s successful military operation in Nagorno-Karabakh raised fears of another offensive, this time into Armenia’s Syunik region, to establish transport corridor linking mainland with its exclave, Nakhchivan. Azerbaijan’s chief negotiator Elchin Amirbayov 16 Oct sought to assuage fears and emphasised that Baku’s primary concern was safety of Azerbaijani passengers travelling through corridor. Azerbaijan 23 Oct began military drills with Türkiye, including near border with Armenia and in Nakhchivan. France same day announced sale of weapons to Armenia (see Armenia). Meanwhile, escalation 3 Oct in Armenia’s Vardenis town bordering Kelbajar district left one Armenian soldier dead and two wounded; sides traded blame for incident.
This week on War & Peace, Olga Oliker and Elissa Jobson speak with Olesya Vartanyan and Zaur Shiriyev, Crisis Group’s South Caucasus experts, about where things stand between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the deadly border clashes in September and whether a peace agreement might be within reach.
A fragile truce concluded on 14 September halted fighting between Azerbaijan and Armenia that left hundreds of soldiers dead. In this Q&A, Crisis Group explains what occurred and what needs to happen now to restart the peace process between the two foes.
This week on Hold Your Fire! Richard Atwood talks to Crisis Group’s UN Director Richard Gowan about the state of the UN as world leaders meet for General Assembly week, and also catches up with Europe and Central Asia Program Director Olga Oliker about the latest from Ukraine and violence on the Armenia-Azerbaijan border.
This week on War & Peace, Olga Oliker and Hugh Pope talk to Crisis Group’s South Caucasus expert Olesya Vartanyan about the conflict in and over Nagorno-Karabakh, a year on from a Russian-brokered ceasefire that put an end to renewed large-scale fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
The 2020 war over Nagorno-Karabakh left many issues unresolved and the front lines volatile. The parties should establish a formal communication channel to address urgent post-war problems, Russian peacekeepers need a clearer mandate and aid agencies must be granted access to the conflict zone.
Russian mediation succeeded in ending the six-week war in Nagorno-Karabakh but left much unresolved, chiefly the region’s future status. If the cessation of hostilities is to become a sustainable peace, the parties should start by cooperating on humanitarian relief and trade before tackling larger questions.
Fighting in and around Nagorno-Karabakh is decimating towns and cities, displacing tens of thousands and killing scores. Combatants must cease attacks on populated areas and let humanitarian aid through. International actors, notably the UN and OSCE, should send monitors and push harder for a ceasefire.
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