Photo: Clay Gilliland (CC BY-SA 2.0)


Uncomplicated conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan

Following a series of failed ceasefires, pressure is mounting on the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. The outside world is taking on increasingly active roles in influencing the conflict in different directions.

In the 1990s, neighboring Azerbaijan and Armenia clashed with each other in a conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh region and who the area would belong to. Despite a ceasefire since 1994, peace has never been achieved in the region. The ceasefire meant that Nagorno-Karabakh would continue to be part of Azerbaijan, but has nevertheless been controlled mainly by a separatist and self-declared Armenian republic, supported by the Armenian government.

Several peace talks broken

In September 2020, the conflict flared up again and several peace talks have been held between Azerbaijan and Armenia. In late October, Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan and Azerbaijan Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov met, this time in Geneva, to draw up, among other things, a humanitarian ceasefire. The countries' exchange and negotiation process of prisoners of war were also discussed.

Many different actors besides the warring parties have tried to influence the conflict, which has resulted in a number of ceasefires that have soon been broken. The Organization for Security and Co-operation (OSCE), in which Sweden also participates, has been responsible for the peace talks since 1994. So far, no peace agreement has been signed by either Azerbaijan or Armenia, according to the BBC.

The role of the United States in the negotiation process

The United States is promoting negotiations to get Armenia and Azerbaijan to resolve the conflict peacefully. US President Donald Trump has stated on Twitter: "Congratulations to Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, who just agreed to adhere to a cease fire effective at midnight. Many lives will be saved, ”after a ceasefire, initiated by the United States, was accepted by the parties. But not many minutes after the ceasefire began, it was broken, as both Azerbaijan and Armenia accused each other of violating conditions. according to the BBC. 

Turkey's role in the conflict

Turkey has been behind Azerbaijan for many years. According to Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, the only solution to the conflict is for Armenia to withdraw from Nagorno-Karabakh, which he believes Armenia has occupied. He has also criticized the OSCE Minsk Group * because they did not take any concrete steps to resolve the conflict.

Russia's relationship with Armenia

Russia has long been an ally of Armenia. Putin proclaimed in late October, after breaking the latest ceasefire, that Russia will offer Armenia help if the conflict escalates, according to SVT. 

Iran is hesitant about the OSCE Minsk Group's attempt to contribute to a peaceful solution. Iranian Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi is also trying to achieve a lasting ceasefire after the failure of both Russia's and the United States' attempts. In addition, Araghchi maintains that because France and the United States, the co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, are far from the region both physically, emotionally and ethically, he rejects the motives and ability of these states to succeed in achieving peace in the region.

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