Azerbaijan Ready to Engage in Peace Talks with Armenia - President Ilham Aliyev
Image: Alexandros Michailidis/Shutterstock
President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, posted on his Twitter account Friday that “Azerbaijan is prepared to work with Armenia” regarding a peace treaty between the two countries.
Over the last week, there have been tensions between the two South Caucasian countries. Armenia accused Azerbaijan of sending troops over its border. Azerbaijan rejected the accusations, saying it was engaged in demarcation at the time.
A 44-day war over “Nagorno Karabakh,” an enclave on Azerbaijani territory, started September 27, 2020, and ended with a ceasefire agreement the night of November 9, 2020. All land was returned to Azerbaijan, though Russian peacekeepers are stationed in areas heavily populated with ethnic Armenians.
This more open approach to future relations between the South Caucasus isn’t breaking news. In a video call on May 20, 2021, about the South Caucasus held by the Nizami Ganjavi International Center, President Ilham Aliyev further stated that he hopes “the time will come that we will really talk about active cooperation in the South Caucasus and integration.”
Regarding the opening of communication and transport corridors, he went on to say, “When the Zangazur corridor opens, it will open new opportunities for all the countries of the region… I would like to say that Azerbaijan is open for cooperation, open for planning our common future because we are neighbours whether we like it or not. We have to live side by side, and we need to learn once again how to live side by side. It’s not easy, emotions are here, especially when Azerbaijani people visit the liberated territories and see the total destruction, you can imagine what kind of emotions they have. But the role of politicians is to defend their agenda and to explain that only through interaction we can provide sustainable development and peace and security in the region.”
In 1992-3 Armenia captured and occupied a large swathe of Azerbaijani territory. This occupied area was declared as the independent "Nagorno Karabakh Republic" (later calling itself "Artsakh"). This declaration was never internationally recognized. Thousands died in the war, and over 700000 Azerbaijani civilians were displaced.