AZERBAIJAN POINT PAPER
27 September 2011
SUBJECT: Assessment of the Caucasus Region
ISSUE: Provide the USEUCOM Commander an overview of Azerbaijan’s approach to the situation in the Caucasus Region.
Primary National Interest:
Azerbaijan has been following an independent foreign policy since gaining independence in 1991. This policy aims at the strengthening and development of the state system and the protection of the national interests of Azerbaijan. The primary national interest in regards to the Caucasus Region involves such urgent issues as the risk and challenge to national security and territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of the republic and ...view middle of the document...
This radical change in Karabagh's ethno-demographic composition has exacerbated decades of conflict between Azerbaijan and the Armenians of Karabagh.
Despite repeated appeals to Moscow to rectify the political status of Nagorno Karabagh, the matter remained unresolved until 1987-88 when Mikhail Gorbachev announced the new policy of "perestroika." At that time a political rights movement emerged in Karabagh and found strong support in Armenia. As the movement gained momentum, it was met by massacres and other acts of violence against Armenians in Sumgait, Baku, and other places in Azerbaijan.
This violence was followed by the 1991-1994 Azeri instigated war on the Nagorno Karabakh Republic (NKR), which claimed thousands of NK casualties and destroyed an estimated 80 percent of Nagorno Karabakh's economy. In the summer of 1992 Azerbaijan placed about 50% of the NKR territory under military occupation. The Nagorno Karabakh defense forces succeeded in liberating previously captured territories from Azerbaijan and, during the war, occupied a few Azerbaijani regions bordering the NKR that had been used as firing lines against the Armenians. The creation of the security zone precluded the immediate threat facing the peaceful population of the NKR.
Since 1992 the main vehicle for the resolution of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict has been the Minsk Group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which has sought to mediate a durable peace settlement. The Minsk Group, currently co-chaired by the United States, Russia and France, has come forward with a series of proposals to solve the crisis. Most recently, a draft document on peaceful settlement of the conflict was presented to the parties by the foreign ministers of US Russia and France at the end of 2007.
Objectives in pursuit of the primary national interest:
Continue international negotiations to resolve the long-standing ethnic conflict with Armenia. Doubt exists that the two leaders have the political will to make a settlement decision. Negotiations continue but must get past the phase of building confidence.
Develop a pluralist democracy based on market economy and supremacy of law
Development of friendly neighborhood and mutual advantageous relations with bordering states
Integration to structures of European and Transatlantic security and cooperation including...