Oct 13, 2020, 11:41 AM
Journalist ID: 1842
News Code: 84074203
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Nagorno-Karabakh clash may spiral over region

Tehran, Oct 13, IRNA – Armenia and Azerbaijan eventually agreed to a ceasefire with Russian peace efforts. If the volatile truce goes on without a comprehensive international plan, the conflict and humanitarian crisis may spiral over the entire region.

Either side of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict had its own reasons not to retreat from the area, but on October 10, they finally succumbed to the ceasefire.

Azerbaijan based their arguments on the principle of sovereignty and Armenia based theirs on the issue of safeguarding the rights of ethnically Armenian people residing in the area.

Regardless of what may happen to Nagorno-Karabakh, continuation of the conflict may leave impacts on security of the region and even far beyond that.

Azerbaijan says that a part of its land has been occupied by Armenia. Baku takes into account four resolutions passed in the United Nations Security Council.

The clash had a special alignment. As the biggest foreign ally of Baku, Turkey openly supported Azerbaijan and it is quite natural for the traditional ally of Armenia, i.e. Russia, to back Yerevan in this situation.  

Of course, what happened in the past two weeks was Moscow’s positive impartiality in the clash. Although Armenia has a defense agreement with Russia, they never openly interfered in the conflict. They just insisted that both sides accept the ceasefire and reduce tensions.

The Russian foreign policy under Sergei Lavrov seated foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia in front of each other at the negotiation table in Moscow, which was reflected all over the world and backed by all countries.

Iran had a positive role in driving the crisis toward peace as well. stance of Iranian Government and media had a direct role in the present peace taking shape in Nagorno-Karabakh.

The clash was happening barely on vicinity of the Iranian borders. Since the very beginning of the conflict, Tehran encouraged both sides of the hostility to keep their calm. President Hassan Rouhani talked with Azeri president and Armenian prime minister on the phone and invited them to peace and reconciliation, which shows Iran’s wisdom and strategy.

When reports about Turkey deploying Jihadi forces from Syria to the region were published, worries arose. Yerevan claimed that Turkey has brought 4,000 proxy fighters to Nagorno-Karabakh, which was rejected by Baku and Ankara.

The number may be an exaggeration, but it has been seen that the safe haven for extremists and terrorists is formed when the central authority is hurt or becomes unstable.

Taking into consideration the facts that the clash is taking place near the Middle East and presence of extremists from Chechnya and Abkhazia, the area has the potential to new safe haven for terrorists.

Religious differences can also be a pretext and catalyst for the presence of extremists in the region, which was the reason President Rouhani insisted on quick solution of the problem.

Prolongation of the crisis and presence of extra-regional forces can lead to more complexity and competition in the region.

The dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia was originally over the mountainous region of Nagorno-Karabakh. In the six-year war, Armenia took control of the region as well as seven counties around it.

In May 1994, the two countries accepted a ceasefire, but international efforts of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), aka Minsk Group, have been fruitless so far.

Minsk Group have failed to restore peace in the region, which suggests that for some reason, some Western countries are not willing to put an end to the dispute. They definitely have some interest in the region and can save them if the region is facing an ongoing crisis.

Any claim of the West, especially the US, for solving the crisis in the region is actually for expanding the security belt around some countries, like Iran and Russia, to monitor their moves from a closer distance, as well as gaining control of the energy and oil reservoirs of the southern Caucasus and the Caspian Sea.

Therefore, Western countries establish their presence in the region by keeping the crises going on. Baku and Yerevan are both well-aware of the fact that the West, especially the US, has never been and will never be trying to solve the dispute.

It seems that with a correct understanding of the region, Azerbaijan and Armenia should first put aside their hostility and form a special workgroup to discuss the crisis at a table. And if it is necessary to enter other players to the negotiations, only regional countries can take the interests of both sides into consideration and stop more damage and loss of lives.

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