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Current Affairs

Armenia and Azerbaijan peace deal

Date: 11 November 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

Russia has brokered a new peace deal between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the two countries that have been in a military conflict over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh in the South Caucasus.

 

Background

Considered one of the most serious disputes in recent years, more than 1200 people have lost their lives and thousands have been displaced.

 

Details

  • The deal was signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev, and Armenian prime minister Nikol Pashinyan.

  • As per the new peace deal, both sides will now maintain positions in the areas that they currently hold, which will mean a significant gain for Azerbaijan as it has reclaimed over 15-20 percent of its lost territory during the recent conflict.

  • Further, under this agreement, all military operations are suspended, Russian peacekeepers will be deployed along the line of contact in Nagorno-Karabakh and along the Lachin corridor that connects the region to Armenia. 

  • Refugees and internally displaced persons will return to the region and the adjacent territories and the two sides will also exchange prisoners of wars and bodies.

  • The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group, chaired by France, Russia, and the US, has tried to get the two countries to reach a peace agreement for several years.

 

Nagorno-Karabakh

  • Nagorno-Karabakh is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan, but most of the region is controlled by Armenian separatists.

  • Nagorno-Karabakh has been part of Azerbaijan territory since the Soviet era. When the Soviet Union began to collapse in the late 1980s, Armenia’s regional parliament voted for the region’s transfer to Armenia, which was turned down by Soviet officials.

  • Years of clashes followed between Azerbaijan forces and Armenian separatists. In 1994, Russia brokered a ceasefire, by which time ethnic Armenians had taken control of the region.

  • While the Armenian government does not recognise Nagorno-Karabakh as independent, it supports the region politically and militarily.

  • While the Azeris claim that the disputed region was under their control in known history, Armenians maintain that Karabakh was a part of the Armenian kingdom.

  • At present, the disputed region consists of a majority Armenian Christian population, even though it is internationally recognised as a part of Muslim-majority Azerbaijan.