Azerbaijan promises safe exit for Armenian citizens from enclave

Russian peacekeeper escorts Armenian civilians to military base in Nagorno-Karabakh

NOS News

Two days after the ceasefire between Azerbaijan and Armenia, the leaders of the two camps have not yet agreed on the future of Nagorno-Karabakh. A representative of the Azerbaijani government said that Armenian citizens can safely leave the enclave via the only road leading to Armenia, but there are no signs of this so far.

On Tuesday, Azerbaijan launched attacks on the enclave. According to Armenian sources, at least 200 people were killed and more than 400 injured. A day later, a ceasefire was declared between the parties with the mediation of Russia, after which the Armenian fighters laid down their arms. According to experts, the truce effectively means Armenia's capitulation.

Nagorno-Karabakh delegates and the Azerbaijani government are discussing how to proceed with the enclave. The area, which is roughly the size of the province of North Brabant, is in Azerbaijani territory, but falls under Armenian administration. Around 120,000 Armenians live there.

Azerbaijan is expected to take full control of the region. Azerbaijani President Aliyev said Nagorno-Karabakh's predominantly Christian population would be allowed to continue practicing their faith and have the right to vote in Azerbaijan.

Presumably, most Armenians living in the enclave will want to leave the region. Since the start of the violence, thousands of residents have fled to the airport, hoping to be protected by the few Russian peacekeepers present there. The airport itself is not operational.

Amnesty

Azerbaijan said earlier in the day it was ready to grant amnesty to Armenian fighters who laid down their arms, but as of midday the enclave's leaders and Azerbaijan had not yet reached an agreement. agreement on security guarantees, according to the Reuters news agency.

Azerbaijan agreed to send three humanitarian aid shipments to Nagorno-Karabakh today. The Armenians of the region would have asked for it.

Demonstration in Armenia

Meanwhile, protests are taking place in Yerevan, the Armenian capital, for the fourth day in a row. Armenians criticize their government for not intervening and not adequately protecting their compatriots in the enclave. Protesters demand the resignation of Armenian Prime Minister Pashinyan.

Eastern Europe expert Bob Deen submitted yesterday News Time shows that opposition to Prime Minister Pashinyan comes largely from Nagorno-Karabakh. “They strongly oppose him. They think he's not doing enough.”

The main reason the government is not intervening, according to Deen, is that the Armenian military is currently incapable of stopping Azerbaijan. “They are afraid that if they are defeated by Azerbaijan, the president of Azerbaijan will not stop at the Armenian border. In fact, he has already crossed it once. So this could turn into a major interstate war.”

The Armenian prime minister said housing was available for 40,000 families in Nagorno-Karabakh. This would mean that almost everyone in the enclave could end up in Armenia.