Armenia Hindering Peace Agreement Negotiations: Azerbaijan
Armenia and Azerbaijan have reached agreement on three core principles of a peace deal, but details remain to be settled. Now, Azerbaijan is demanding Armenia to leave eight villages it occupied in Karabakh.
The Azerbaijan Foreign Ministry, in a statement, said Armenia chose the path of enduring to menace the peace process, lives of citizens, restoration and reconstruction work carried out in the region. “Armenia also refused to hand over eight Azerbaijani villages, which are still under occupation.”
It added that despite its obligations, Armenia continued to provide military support to separatist forces in the Karabakh region amid peace talks. Azerbaijan said separatist forces in the region ignored their warnings at various levels and platforms, and increased provocations in September. This resulted in counterterrorism operation that restored the country’s full sovereignty over its territories.
Armenia Occupying Villages
The statement highlighted that Armenia has not withdrawn its armed forces from the area and continues to support them financially. It did not refrain from the illegal transfer of weapons, military equipment, landmines to the territories of Azerbaijan. Armenia also refused to hand over eight Azerbaijan villages, which are still under occupation. These villages are in Tavush and Ararat Provinces of Armenia.
“Armenia must finally recognize that there is no alternative to peace and cooperation in the region.” The statement said Azerbaijan calls on Armenia to demonstrate a constructive and just position in the peace process and to understand the realities in the region properly.
Armenia responded saying it also has a problem with the villages. “We say that we also have a problem related to 8 villages, because in the same Tavush region, for example, we have territories occupied by Azerbaijan in Berkaber village, Aygehovit village, Vazashen village, Paravakar village, and other areas as well.
“We proposed a solution to that issue back in 2021 and said let’s decide what the delimitation map is, and pull back the troops simultaneously from the borderline according to the map.”
Armenia – Azerbaijan Conflict
Azerbaijan’s September offensive and regaining Nagorno-Karabakh, may finally have put end to the 35-year-old Armenian-Azerbaijan conflict. But tensions still remain. According to Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Baku insists on connecting Nakhichevan, its exclave that borders Armenia, Turkey and Iran, to the rest of Azerbaijan. It said Azerbaijan is unlikely to stage a full-scale invasion for this purpose but skirmishes could lead to escalation and further concessions by Armenia.
Resolving issues between Armenia and Azerbaijan will take years. Furthermore, it depends on the shift of power dynamics in the region.