Expert: Karabakh conflict threatens stability in South Caucasus
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.