- Under the new agreement, Nagorno Karabakh will remain in the hands of Azerbaijan.
- Azeri President Aliyev says the agreement has historical significance and that Armenia has been forced to accept it.
- Armenian Prime Minister Pashinyan says he made the decision based on the war situation and discussions with top experts.
Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Russia have signed a peace agreement to end the military conflict in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan called the deal “very painful” for him and his people. The agreement came after nearly six weeks of fighting between ethnic minorities in Azerbaijan and Armenia.
The region is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan but has been controlled by ethnic Armenians since 1994. Although there was a ceasefire that year, there was no agreement.
There have also been several ceasefires since the fighting began in September, but they too have all failed.
What is the Agreement?
The peace agreement has been in force since Tuesday. Under the new agreement, Nagorno Karabakh will remain in the hands of Azerbaijan. Armenia will move away from some more areas nearby in the next few weeks. In an online televised speech, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russian peacekeepers would patrol the frontline.
The country’s defense minister has confirmed that they will deploy 1,960 people. Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev has said that Turkey will also take part in the peace process. Mr. Aliyev was with Vladimir Putin during an online speech. Mr. Putin said the agreement would cover the exchange of prisoners and would open up all economic and communication links at the same time.
What Kind of Reaction is Being Seen?
President Aliyev says the agreement has historical significance and that Armenia has been forced to accept it. Armenian Prime Minister Pashinyan says he made the decision based on the war situation and discussions with top experts.
“It’s not a victory but there’s no defeat here unless you think of yourself as a loser,” Mr. Paschinian said.
In Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenian leader Araikh Harutunian says he has agreed to end the war quickly. However, a large number of people gathered in the Armenian capital to oppose the agreement. They vandalized the parliament and government buildings at that time.
About a month and a half ago, war broke out between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the disputed territory. There have been previous clashes between the two countries over its control. The town of Shusha is built on a hill near Stepanakert, the capital of Nagorno-Karabakh. The road that goes through it is connected to Armenia.
Turkey’s Relations with Azerbaijan
The two countries believe in the principle of “one nation, two countries” in their relations. Not only at the state or government level, but also the common people of Turkey and Azerbaijan, consider them the same nation.
Although they have never been citizens of the same state in their history, the Turks and Azeris believe that they have one source and that they are descendants of the same blood, history, and culture.
“They don’t just think of themselves as friends, they believe they’re brothers and sisters.” They had political and military ties towards the very end of the Ottoman Empire.
When Azerbaijan was invaded by Armenia and Russia in 1917, the Ottoman Empire provided military assistance to defend Baku. They were the first to recognize Azerbaijan as a democratic republic.
The agreement reached between Azerbaijan and the Ottoman rulers at the time stated that the new state could seek military assistance from the Ottoman Empire whenever it was threatened. Soon after, Ottoman troops were sent to defend Baku.
Later, in 1920, Azerbaijan fell to the Soviet Union. Much later, after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Azerbaijan was re-established as an independent state. Turkey did not delay in recognizing this new country.
Since then, relations between the two countries have always remained warm. Even after the latest conflict with Armenia began, Turkey immediately announced its support for Baku.