Armenia and Azerbaijan Negotiate an End to War
On November 9th, 2020, Armenia and Azerbaijan reached a peace deal that may have put an end to the war between them once and for all. After six weeks of fighting, more than 1,300 Armenian soldiers have died in the conflict. The day before the agreement came to be, Azeri forces captured one of the main cities in the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, a city called Shusha by Azeris and Shushi by Armenians. Apparently, Azeri forces were also well on their way to capturing the largest city in the region, Stepanakert. The negotiation is seen as a victory for Azerbaijan, as they are formally able to take back territory that they had been fighting for control over since the first Nagorno-Karabakh War in the 1990s. It is apparent that Armenia’s motivation in the agreement was to prevent further losses, such as the city of Stepanakert. Thus, Armenia retains control of some of the region, including the capital, while Azerbaijan walks away with more than it had before. In the hours following the announcement of the negotiation, celebrations erupted in the streets of Azerbaijan while angry mobs protested the decision in Armenia.
For the next 5 years, Russian peacekeepers are to be stationed along the border of Nagorno-Karabakh in order to prevent further fighting. While Russia had a defence pact with Armenia, Turkey had been actively supporting Azerbaijan in the conflict. Now, Russia aims to display power by being the main agent to have brokered this peace deal, while Turkey celebrates victory with Azerbaijan. This situation leaves Armenians wondering why there was no other solution that would have been more beneficial to their country. However, there is hope in the fact that for now, the death toll has ended for both sides of this bitter conflict.
Why do you think that the president of Armenia decided to end the war, even if it meant losing territory that his soldiers had fought and died for?
In your opinion, what is the best way to settle a conflict?
How would you have felt if you were Azeri during the end of this war? And if you were Armenian?