Nikol Pashinyan.

Nikol Pashinyan.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan's recent announcement in the Armenian parliament regarding the return of several villages to Azerbaijan has stirred discussions and raised pertinent questions about border delimitation, security, and historical precedents. Pashinyan, in his address, delineated a series of villages and their corresponding locations, signifying Armenia's willingness to engage in a comprehensive border delimitation process, particularly in the Tavush region.

The villages mentioned by Pashinyan include Baganis, Voskepar, Kirants, and Berkaber, juxtaposed with Azerbaijani settlements such as Baganis Ayrum, Ashagi-Askipara, Heyrimli, and Kyzyl Hajili. Pashinyan emphasized that while these Azerbaijani villages are slated for return, certain Armenian villages like Baganis, Voskepar, Kirants, and Berkaber will always remain integral parts of Armenia.

However, the Prime Minister acknowledged the apprehensions expressed by residents of Voskepar regarding security challenges following the return of Ashagi-Askipara to Azerbaijan. In response, Armenia has proposed infrastructural developments, including new roads and pipelines, to address logistical concerns post-enclave transfer.

Notably, Pashinyan underscored the historical context, highlighting that certain Azerbaijani villages were not part of Armenia's map during Soviet times. This historical backdrop, compounded by the absence of an agreed-upon map for delimitation, underscores the complexities inherent in border negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

The political basis for this delimitation process, as outlined by Pashinyan, harks back to the Alma-Ata Declaration of 1991, indicating the significance of historical agreements in contemporary border discussions. However, the absence of a consensus on mapping exacerbates the challenges, underscoring the need for diplomatic engagement and cooperation.

The dynamics surrounding border negotiations have been reciprocated by Azerbaijan, with Deputy Prime Minister Shahin Mustafayev presenting demands for the transfer of border villages from Armenia to Azerbaijan. These demands, encompassing villages primarily from the Kazakh region and one from the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, underscore Azerbaijan's assertive stance in the border delimitation process.

Pashinyan's engagement with residents of Voskepar further highlights Armenia's efforts to navigate negotiations while prioritizing regional stability and averting the specter of conflict. The Armenian government's insistence on preventing further escalation underscores the gravity of the situation and the imperative of diplomatic resolution.

In response to negotiations, Armenia has articulated demands for the liberation of territories purportedly captured by the Azerbaijani army, notably citing the Armenian village of Artsvashen (Bashkend - Kedabek district of Azerbaijan). This historical reference underscores the complexity of border disputes and the enduring legacy of past conflicts in shaping contemporary geopolitical dynamics.

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