How Karabakh conflict overshadowed occupation of 8 Azerbaijani villages under Armenia's control?
For centuries, Armenia, which has been chasing dreams of the so-called 'greater armenia', eyed on the territories of Azerbaijan and always invaded the lands whenever it had the opportunity, is not satisfied only with Karabakh. It should be recalled that 13 villages of the Gazakh district of Azerbaijan, located far from Karabakh, were occupied by Armenians in the 1990s. But later, 6 of those 13 villages were freed from occupation. At present, 7 villages of Gazakh, as well as the territory of Nakhchivan called Kerki, have been under the occupation of Armenia since that time.
The occupation of those villages has laid bare the Armenian whopper and proved to the world that the issue is neither the violation of minority rights nor self-determination, the issue is expansionism and false idea of usurping lands of neighbor countries.
Unfortunately, the scale of atrocity committed by Armenians against the native Azerbaijanis in Garabagh was so big that it has overshadowed and caused to forget the occupation of those territories. Except for the IDPs of these villages, neither Azerbaijan nor the world talked about them until the humiliating defeat of Armenians in the 44-day War in 2020. After the war, Azerbaijan raised the issue of these villages several times and the Armenian side brought some excuses as usual. Last time the issue was raised by the EU ambassador to Armenia.
She noted that there are one or two stations in the border with Azerbaijan, from which Armenia should withdraw its troops. She underscored that this issue was voiced in Brussels, as well, and the EU hopes that the parties will start this process soon.
It should be noted that the opinion of the experts regarding the current and subsequent fate of the occupied villages was received.
Speaking to Azernews the military expert Adalat Verdiyev also confirmed that the Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan had stated in his last statement in Reykjavik that he recognizes the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan as 86.6 thousand square kilometers. He underlined that this means Armenia recognizes Karabakh, Eastern Zangazur, and eight villages that are under occupation as the territory of Azerbaijan.
“Despite Azerbaijan regaining control over other areas, these eight villages still remain under the control of Armenia. Armenia realizes that their return to Azerbaijan would cause serious problems for Armenia. For example, the return of the village of Karki to Azerbaijan allows Azerbaijan to take control of the Yerevan-Gafan highway, and the return of 7 villages of Gazakh allows Azerbaijan to control the Ijevan Noyemberyan M4 Highway. This promised serious problems for Armenia, and therefore Armenia is trying to solve this issue in slightly a different way,” Verdiyev said.
Reminding that four of these villages are Azerbaijan’s exclave within Armenia, the expert admitted that solving this issue will be very hard. However, he believes that Azerbaijan and Armenia can solve the problem if Armenia approaches the issue rationally.
“For example, it will not be easy to open a corridor to Azerbaijan from the Yukhari Eskipara village [exclave], which borders Armenia on all four sides, and ensure the safety of Azerbaijani citizens there. Similarly, the other 3 exclaves. Therefore, the exchange of these areas may be possible. However, we do not observe any open discussions about territorial exchange yet,” he noted.
He added that in any case, the victorious Azerbaijan will not compromise an inch of its land to the Armenian side. This is an axiom, and this proof does not need any further evidence. Besides, Armenia also does not have the military capabilities to control the territories of Azerbaijan.
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz