Ex­pert: Karabakh con­flict threat­ens sta­bil­ity in South Cau­ca­sus

Azer News - - Karabakh Conflict - By Rashid Shiri­nov

The Ar­me­nian-Azer­bai­jani Nagorno-Karabakh con­flict threat­ens sta­bil­ity in the South Cau­ca­sus re­gion, said Christo­pher Gunn, an as­sis­tant pro­fes­sor at the De­part­ment of His­tory in the U.S. Coastal Carolina Univer­sity.

Gunn made the re­mark while talk­ing to Trend on the side­lines of the 1st In­ter­na­tional Fo­rum of Cau­ca­sus Stud­ies Schol­ars held in Baku.

He said that his re­search in­volves the Nagorno-Karabakh con­flict, which is one of the on­go­ing con­flicts since the end of the Cold War.

“It is tragic that the NagornoKarabakh con­flict has not been re­solved yet. Ar­me­nian armed forces oc­cu­pied 20 per­cent of the Azer­bai­jani ter­ri­tory and it is some­thing that should be re­solved soon,” the ex­pert said.

“It is shock­ing that there has been no en­force­ment of the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil res­o­lu­tions on the set­tle­ment of the Nagorno-Karabakh con­flict and the un­con­di­tional with­drawal of the Ar­me­nian troops from the oc­cu­pied Azer­bai­jani territories.”

Gunn said that the lack of ac­tiv­ity re­gard­ing the UN res­o­lu­tions on the Nagorno-Karabakh con­flict in many ways speaks to some of the hypocrisy or dou­ble stan­dards in the West and the UN. Azer­bai­jan is the most pow­er­ful coun­try in the South Cau­ca­sus re­gion and the coun­try is a key to pros­per­ity and sta­bil­ity in this re­gion, the ex­pert added.

The con­flict be­tween two South Cau­ca­sus coun­tries be­gan in 1988 when Ar­me­nia made ter­ri­to­rial claims against Azer­bai­jan. As a re­sult of the en­su­ing war, in 1992 Ar­me­nian armed forces oc­cu­pied 20 per­cent of Azer­bai­jan, in­clud­ing the Nagorno-Karabakh re­gion and seven sur­round­ing re­gions. More than 20,000 Azer­bai­ja­nis were killed and over 1 mil­lion were dis­placed as a re­sult of the large-scale hos­til­i­ties. The 1994 cease­fire agree­ment was fol­lowed by peace ne­go­ti­a­tions.

Ar­me­nia still con­trols fifth part of Azer­bai­jan's ter­ri­tory and re­jects im­ple­ment­ing four UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil res­o­lu­tions on with­drawal of its armed forces from Nagorno-Karabakh and sur­round­ing districts.

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