Azerbaijan’s president raises flag in Nagorno-Karabakh capital

Aliyev arrives in Nagorno-Karabakh
Aliyev arrives in Nagorno-Karabakh

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev raised the country’s flag in the capital of Nagorno-Karabakh, Stepanakert, also known as Hankendi, on Oct. 15, the Azerbaijani president’s press service reported.

Aliyev delivered a speech during this event and also visited other localities in the region, including Agdere, the town of Karkidzhakh, and the village of Malibey.

Background on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

The region, which had a large ethnic Armenian population and which was part of the Azerbaijan SSR as an autonomous region during the Soviet Union, announced its withdrawal from the republic in 1988.

Read also: Why Karabakh conflict erupted once again – NV analysis

Subsequently, the local parliament declared its independence, and fighting in the region broke out. Active hostilities continued in Nagorno-Karabakh until 1994, during which time more than 30,000 people had died.

A ceasefire agreement was later signed, but Nagorno-Karabakh did not return to Azerbaijan’s control. The republic was not recognized by any country in the world, including Armenia.

In 2022, Azerbaijan launched a campaign to reclaim territory held outside of Nagorno-Karabakh’s borders by the breakaway republic.  The conflict came to an end in November under a Russian-mediated ceasefire, with Azerbaijan reclaiming a number of lost territories.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan confirmed that he was ready to recognize Azerbaijan’s sovereignty over Nagorno-Karabakh.

The heads of the foreign ministries of both countries reported that a peace agreement between the two countries could be possible by the end of 2023.

In mid-July, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan said that Moscow and Yerevan had not fulfilled their obligations under the tripartite agreement signed after the 2020 conflict.

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