Brief history of the conflict
The territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan is distinguished by its unique geographic and strategic position. Situated in the Caucasus and on the historical Silky Way, Azerbaijan always took a great role and pride in the development of cultural and trade relations between the East and the West.
This region always attracted the attention of many travelers from Italy, Germany, France, Russia and other countries of the world where they had an opportunity to visit this country, to know its rich nature and peace- loving people. In other words, this country was always in the spotlight of the world. Currently it is also in the center of the world’s attention, but this time with the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno Karabakh conflict that has recently been solved, finally.
After the collapse of the former Soviet Union, in the beginning of 1990s Armenia occupied the seven districts and the Nagorno Karabakh region of the Republic of Azerbaijan and at the same time forcefully deported hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis from the occupied territories, forcing them to leave their native homes and lands.
In fact, the state boundary of the Republic of Azerbaijan was violated, and its territory was occupied by Armenia, the people deported from the abovementioned districts and Nagorno Karabakh of Azerbaijan; they became refugees as well. It should be stressed that during the last 28 years the seven districts and Nagorno Karabakh of Azerbaijan were populated by Armenia with the people brought, mainly from Armenia, Syria and Lebanon.
Regulations by UN and other international organizations
To solve this complicated conflict, peacefully, both the late former president of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev and the incumbent President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Mr. Ilham Aliyev have demonstrated a unique and high-level diplomacy. As a result of their tremendous political efforts and steps, invaluable activity was unleashed by the UN Security Council and other international organizations to bring peace in the region.
The President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Mr. Ilham Aliyev repeatedly offered to the official leadership of Armenia to solve this conflict peacefully according to the four UN known resolutions (No822; 853; 874; 884 on a withdrawal of Armenian troops from the occupied territories and liberation of those territories) and the fundamental principles developed by the Minsk Group of OSCE. President Aliyev always observed and respected all international laws, resolutions of the UN Security Council, fundamental principles developed by the OSCE, ceasefire and invited the official leadership of Armenia to respect and obey the international laws for solution of this conflict.
However, the age of the conflict, the creation of numerous strategic military objects, fortifications in the occupied territories and the shipment of military weapons and equipment to the occupied territories by Armenia indicated that Armenia had never planned nor intended to withdraw its troops from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan. Instead of fulfilling the UN Security Council Resolutions, fundamental principles developed by the Minsk Group of OSCE on the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Armenia was just deceiving to Azerbaijan and the OSCE by investing so much in the fortifications and militarization of the occupied territories.
The 44-days war
Regular violation of ceasefire by Armenian Forces, a military aggression of Armenia against the Tovuz district of the Republic of Azerbaijan in July 2020, the arrest of a member of the sabotage and reconnaissance group of the Armenian Armed Forces in the territory of Azerbaijan in August 2020 were the precursory steps and preliminary preparations for the beginning of a full-fledged war against the Republic of Azerbaijan. On September 27th, 2020 based on the support provided from external forces, Armenia started to attack the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
Using the right of self-defense in accordance with paragraph 51 of the UN Charter, the Republic of Azerbaijan performed successfully the 44-day counter-offensive operation and forced the occupying Armenia to retreat. Armenian Armed Forces shelled Azerbaijani cities (Ganja, Barda, Tartar, Mingachevir), settlements, villages, infrastructure objects from the occupied territories, sovereign territory of Azerbaijan and attacks were deliberately organized, ballistic missiles were launched from the internal territory of Armenia.
As a result of the shelling, hundreds of the civilian citizens of the Republic of Azerbaijan have lost their lives or have been seriously wounded. In fact, Azerbaijan was restoring its territorial integrity and fighting on its own territory. Azerbaijan did not allow the internationalization of the military operations. However, Armenia has made a lot of attempts to involve other countries to the military operations and to bomb the Baku-Tbilisi-Jeyhan oil pipeline, the Mingachevir Hydroelectric Power Station and other strategic objects that are a long way from the frontline.
Victory of Azerbaijan and peace in Southern Caucasus
On November 10, 2020, the trilateral statement on putting an end to the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict was signed by the presidents of Azerbaijan, Russia, and the prime minister of Armenia. This statement also brought an end to the occupation of the territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan and opened a new chapter of prosperity for the Southern Caucasus region.
The victory of the Azerbaijan Army under the leadership of the Commander-in-chief and the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Mr. Ilham Aliyev now enables hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijani refugees to return to their native lands and homes that were burnt and destroyed by the Armenians. Now the whole world can see how the Azerbaijani mosques, holy places, historical and cultural monuments, Azerbaijani cemeteries were destroyed and how the nature and ecology of the territory liberated from the occupation were heavily damaged during the last 28 years.
It should be kept in mind that the target in this war were not Armenian civilians, the target were Armenian Armed Forces and illegal armed forces that occupied Azerbaijani territories and fought there. There are thousands of representatives of other nations having different religions and living together with Azerbaijanis peacefully and friendly in Azerbaijan. They all are the citizens of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The Constitution and laws of the Republic of Azerbaijan open the same possibilities and prosperities for all its citizens not depending on their nationalities and religions. Thus, the historical victory of Azerbaijan and the final restoration of its territorial integrity is the great contribution having historical significance to the progress of nations and establishment of peace in the Southern Caucasus region.
* Prof. Dr. Vali Allahverdi Huseynov (Guseinov) is a Corresponding Member of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences; a Distinguished University Professor in Baku and author of many white papers and books with a focus in Physical Sciences, Republic of Azerbaijan.