Armenia and Azerbaijan start fixing widespread border after decades-long battle | EUROtoday

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Armenia and Azerbaijan introduced on Tuesday they’d began fixing their border, as a part of normalisation efforts between the arch foes that had been locked in a decades-long territorial battle.

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Last month, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan agreed to Baku’s demand to return 4 frontier villages that have been a part of Azerbaijan when it was a part of the Soviet Union.

The two nations reconfirmed final week to advance on border delimitation within the space based mostly on Soviet-era maps – a choice that sparked protests among the many residents of close by Armenian villages.

On Tuesday, the 2 nations’ inside ministries introduced the start of delimitation works on the bottom.

Azerbaijan mentioned skilled teams are conducting “clarification of coordinates based on geodesic study of the terrain,” whereas Armenia dominated out “the transfer of any parts of Armenia’s sovereign territory” to Baku because of the delimitation.

Fresh rallies erupted in Armenia following the announcement.

Dozens of protesters blocked the essential Armenia-Georgia freeway at a number of factors, together with close to Lake Sevan and the city of Noyemberyan, near the border with Azerbaijan, Armenian media reported.

The 4 deserted settlements that are to be returned to Azerbaijan – Lower Askipara, Baghanis Ayrum, Kheirimly, and Gizilhajili – have been taken over by Armenian forces within the Nineties, forcing their ethnic Azerbaijani residents to flee.

‘Sign of peace’

The residents of close by Armenian villages concern they might find yourself remoted from the remainder of the nation and a few homes may fall into territory managed by Azerbaijan.

The space has strategic significance for landlocked Armenia.

Several small sections of the freeway to Georgia – very important for the nation’s international commerce – may find yourself within the territory to be handed again to Azerbaijan.

The delimited border may also run near a significant Russian fuel pipeline, and the realm has advantageous army positions.

Pashinyan has insisted on the necessity to resolve remaining border disputes with Azerbaijan “to avoid a new war.”

On Saturday, he mentioned Russian border guards – deployed within the space since 1992 – shall be changed by Armenian servicemen.

“Russian border guards will withdraw from the area and border guards of Armenia and Azerbaijan will be cooperating to guard the state border on their own.”

He additionally referred to as border delimitation a “significant change on the ground” as the 2 nations “now have a border and not a line of contact – which is a sign of peace.”

Last autumn, Azerbaijani troops recaptured the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh area from Armenian separatists in a lightning offensive that successfully ended a bloody three-decade standoff between the Caucasus neighbours over management of the mountainous area.

While each Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev say a wider peace settlement is inside their attain, lingering territorial disputes pose a relentless menace of a recent flareup.