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  • Writer's pictureElnur Aslanov

29 years of pacifism or why did the war start on the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh?

Weren't there any other solutions? Who started first? Why didn't they try to arrange negotiations?

These questions are asked by outside observers even today. However, many of them just recently heard about the existence of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict for the first time. What Azerbaijan was doing during the 29 years of occupation of its territory is described below.

The beginning of an armed confrontation

In 1991-1992 Armenia started military operations on the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, which is the part of Azerbaijan. It occupied territories by force. People were massacred; thousands were killed or disappeared.

1993 - ignoring UN resolutions

Azerbaijan was awaiting a decision from the UN Security Council, which was about to adopt Resolution number 853.

The only demand stated in this resolution was straightforward: Armenia had to end the occupation of the territory of Azerbaijan immediately and unconditionally.

Armenia ignored the resolution.

After that, the UN adopted Resolution number 874 demanding to take urgent, reciprocal and necessary actions to resolve the conflict, including the withdrawal of troops from the recently occupied territories.

Armenia ignored the resolution.

A month later, resolution number 884 was launched. It demanded the withdrawal of troops from the territory of Azerbaijan and the unconditional ending to bombings and armed attacks.

Armenia ignored the resolution.

The 21st meeting of the OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation) adopted a resolution condemning the occupation of Azerbaijani territories and demanding the immediate withdrawal of Armenian troops.

Armenia ignored the resolution.


Armenia and Azerbaijan achieved the ceasefire agreement. The territory of Azerbaijan remained in the Armenian occupation.


Summit in Lisbon took place. It was attended by fifty-four countries. During the summit, the fundamental principles of the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement were established. The settlement was supported by 53 countries, i.e. all the participants of the summit except Armenia.

Yet, the territory of Azerbaijan had remained occupied by Armenia.


The OSCE Minsk Group had developed components for the conflict settlement called the Madrid Principles. The main provisions included the plan for the phased withdrawal of troops from the territory of Azerbaijan and its complete demilitarization.

Yet, the territory of Azerbaijan had remained occupied by Armenia.


The presidents of Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Russia had signed the Mayendorf Declaration. And by doing so, the heads of state accepted the responsibility for facilitating the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. It seemed that the ice has had broken – Armenia made direct contact.

Yet, the territory of Azerbaijan had remained occupied. Azerbaijan was still waiting for the opportunity to settle the conflict peacefully.

The issue of the occupation raised again. As a result, the UN General Assembly adopted new resolution number 62243 titled "The Situation in the Occupied Territories of Azerbaijan." It demanded to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, as well as the complete and unconditional withdrawal of troops from the occupied territories and recognized the illegal nature of this conflict in general.

Armenia ignored the resolution.


Azerbaijan was still looking for a way to resolve the conflict peacefully. At the OIC summit in Istanbul, a "Contact Group in connection with the Armenian aggression against Azerbaijan" was created. Seven participating countries insisted on ending the occupation.

The occupation continued.


The European Union reminded Armenia about four UN resolutions and again demanded to end the occupation. The Eastern Partnership Summit expressed its support for the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of every country.

The occupation continued.


Armenia continued to ignore the resolutions and continued to occupy the territory of Azerbaijan.

On September 27th, in response to the actions of Armenia against the peaceful Azerbaijani population, the counter-offensive operation of the Azerbaijani armed forces began on the territory of Azerbaijan.

The events described above are just a small fraction of all the measures that Azerbaijan has taken: calls for negotiations, summits, speeches, dialogues, etc.

Many Presidents of different countries tried to establish a dialogue with Armenia. It seemed that they finally reached the consensus through the numerous meetings and discussions.

But there were no results.

Armenia ignored the warrants, logic, arguments, and demands of the whole world. All this time, Azerbaijan has been establishing dialogues, making statements, showing superior diplomacy skills and the patience of Job. The country received support from the international community and waited patiently.

It waited for 29 years ...

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