Armenia. In April, Armenia celebrated the 90th anniversary of the mass murder of Armenians in the Old Ottoman Empire (present-day Turkey). From 1915 and a few years on, Armenians were subjected to deportations and murders that killed hundreds of thousands of lives. According to countryaah, Yerevan is the capital and one of the major cities within the country of Armenia. Armenia is still marked by the tragedy. The borders to Turkey are closed and the two countries lack diplomatic relations. Armenia demands that Turkey acknowledge that a genocide was committed, but Turkey claims that the information on one and a half million deported and dead Armenians is greatly exaggerated. According to Turkey, up to 300,000 Armenians and at least as many Turks died in civil war in eastern Turkey during the First World War.
When Turkey was preparing for EU membership negotiations in 2005, Armenia was hoping for EU pressure for a Turkish recognition of genocide. Before Turkey began its negotiations with the EU in October, the European Parliament declared in a resolution that Turkey’s recognition of Armenian genocide is a necessary precondition for its future membership in the EU.
During the year, the Turkish Prime Minister proposed joint investigations into the murders of Armenians. Armenian President Robert Kotjarjan welcomed a joint commission of inquiry but first called for a normalization of relations. It was Turkey that closed the border in 1993 in protest of Armenian separatists’ struggle for independence from Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave.
Armenia requests Russian help
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan calls for talks on Russian aid in the light of the defense agreement between the two countries. Pashinyan points out that the state of war around Nagorno-Karabakh is approaching the borders of Armenia and that the opponent Azerbaijan has the support of Turkey. The agreement with Russia does not cover the controversial exclave, which lies within Azerbaijan’s borders, but the escalating situation makes many fear that the great powers Russia and Turkey will become more involved in the conflict. Just over a month of fighting has claimed at least 1,200 lives (the actual number is believed to be higher) and the parties accuse each other of not sparing civilian targets.
Another attempt at mediation fails
Third attempt at a cease-fire during the autumn battles between the army in e n and Azerbaijan over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh enters into force. But violations of the agreement are reported after only a few hours. In Iran, which borders both countries, the Revolutionary Guards have announced that the border has been strengthened with new postings since bullets, or rather grenade fire, from the fighting reached Iranian territory.
Ceasefire, but still firing
Armenia and Azerbaijan agree on marathon negotiations in Moscow on a ceasefire in the recent Nagorno-Karabakh war, which escalated in late September, but continued hostilities are reported. According to the agreement, the International Committee of the Red Cross will assist with the exchange of prisoners and the righting of the remains of the fallen, but the organization says that this can not happen until there are safety guarantees for Red Cross personnel. According to various sources, the fighting has claimed nearly 500 lives, of which about 60 are civilians.
Israel balances Caucasian
The fighting between Azerbaijan and Armenia has shed light on arms deals between Israel and the Azerbaijani state. It has been known for several years that the Aliyev regime is a customer of the Israeli defense industry, while Israel imports Azeri oil. Israel does not publish sales figures country by country, but Azerbaijan has confirmed the purchase of, among other things, equipped drones. Advanced weapons systems have made the balance of power in the Caucasus more uneven than before, and Armenia (which has not opened an embassy in Israel until recently) is concerned. A site that follows air movements also shows that an Azeri plane took off from an airfield in Israel, near a military base, as recently as just before the latest outbreak of war. The subject is now being raised at the presidential level and the Israeli head of state, Reuven Rivlin, promises humanitarian aid to Armenia.