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Armenian PM: ‘War Could Erupt’ Unless Border Demarcation Starts

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Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said Tuesday that Armenia would soon need to demarcate its borders with neighboring Azerbaijan or else “a war could erupt by the end of the week.”

Pashinyan spoke to residents at the border village of Voskepar about the importance of demarcation efforts, saying, “We shouldn’t allow the war to start.”

To prevent war and to achieve a peace deal with Azerbaijan, Armenia would have to give up four Azerbaijani villages that Armenia has controlled for some 30 years.
The demarcation effort would establish mutually agreed upon borders based on 1991 Soviet maps. Armenia and Azerbaijan have had border disagreements since achieving independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

In 1994, ethnic Armenian forces took control over the Karabakh region, known internationally as Nagorno-Karabakh, establishing de facto Armenian rule in the region.

Azerbaijan has since taken the region back, capturing much of it during a six-week war in 2020 and the rest during a surprise military campaign last year, causing more than 100,000 Armenians to flee.

Both countries began negotiating a peace treaty in December, but many Armenians oppose the demarcation effort, viewing it as Azerbaijani encroachment. Many also blame Pashinyan for allowing Azerbaijan to take back Nagorno-Karabakh.

Since Azerbaijan took Nagorno-Karabakh back, Armenia has been working to forge stronger relations with the West, after claiming that Russian peacekeepers in the region failed to stop the Azerbaijani military operation. Moscow rejected the claim and said its peacekeepers would have been acting outside of their mandate to intervene.

Pashinyan said Tuesday after hosting NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg for talks that Armenia wants to “expand our partnership with the alliance and some of its members.”

He added that he expects NATO and others in the international community to strongly support the peace agreement process.

additional source : VOA

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