Armenia and Azerbaijan Have Held a Fresh Round of Peace Settlement Talks in Washington

The disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region has been the bone of contention between two former Soviet republics for decades.

The United States hosted a negotiation between Armenia and Azerbaijan on 1st May, for the sake of establishing peace in the South Caucasus region. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1992, Armenia and Azerbaijan both became independent nations. Since then the mountainous Nagorno-Karabakh region has been the bone of contention between both the country.

This region is officially recognized by the international community as Azerbaijan, but the region is mainly populated by ethnic Armenians. it is controlled by the Armenian separatist, which has direct support from the Armenian government. Both countries had already fought two wars over this region, the first was in 1990 and the second was in 2020.

Since the past month tension has been flaring up between Baku and Yerevan. The latest move by Azerbaijan of setting up of new checkpoint on the Lachin corridor, the road to Karabakh that passes through Azeri territory. Lachin corridor is the only land route that gives Armenia direct access to the disputed Nagorno Karabakh region. This action by Azerbaijan has halted the basic supply of commercial and humanitarian items in the region. Armenia called this move a gross violation of the 2020 Moscow-brokered ceasefire.

Armed forces from both countries have been continuously exchanging fire over the disputed region. Some experts have already been speculating that this conflict over mountainous regions can escalate into full-blown war. To avoid this war Russia has been the principal mediator for many years. But after the conflict of 2020, the USA has been actively showing its interest in mediating between Baku and Yerevan.

Last year Prime Minister of Armenia Mr Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev agreed “not to use force” in a Moscow Summit hosted by Russian President Vladimir Putin. After that in November 2022, the US secretary hosted the foreign minister of both countries for resolving the issue and establishing peace over the region at Blair House in Washington.

Anthony Blinken also hosted the face-to-face talk held between the prime minister of Armenia & president of Azerbaijan on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference in February this year. But we continuous clashes between both the country’s show that there has not been any satisfactory result of these talks. by organizing this peace settlement talk the U.S. is hoping for the necessary outcome.

Dialogue between both the country is key to achieving lasting peace in South Caucasus, said U.S. Secretary Anthony Blinken. U.S. secretary also called on to Azerbaijani counterpart to remove the blockade over Lachin Corridor for facilitating the free flow of movement. Azerbaijan has justified its move by what they said was the retaliation of Armenian weapon supplies to Nagorno-Karabakh. While Armenia refuted this very claim.

Turkey has been continuously supporting Azerbaijan saying “Armenia should cease provocation”. September last year Turkish defense Minister Mr. Hulusi said “Turkey has always stood by brotherly Azerbaijan in its just causes”. Turkey even supplied armed drones to Azerbaijan during a six-week-long conflict in 2020.

After several diplomatic talks and various rounds of mediation by various countries including the United Nations peace in the region has yet to be established. Several resolutions have been passed in UNSC to end this conflict, but the outcome has never been fruitful. This conflict is also the subject of the will of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh who are mostly Armenian. They don’t want to be part of Azerbaijan as they have voted to join Armenia. But it is also out of the question to carve out some part of Azerbaijani territory. But this deadlock between Armenia and Azerbaijan has to end for the growth and development of the people of this region. Now both countries must come together and resolve this decade-long conflict with proper talk and some compromise.

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