The Northern Az Council-Governments of the autonomous region of Nagorno Karabakh have been involved in a political conflict with neighboring Artsakh for several years now. They have tried to implement a “peaceful” solution to the conflict in the form of political dialogues and negotiations with representatives from both sides the Azerbaijan Government and the Republic of Artsakh. They have also made significant efforts to increase political goodwill among the local residents and have met with President Sarkisian of Azerbaijan to discuss this issue in depth. However this has not been enough to satisfy the Azeris who continue to demand that the region of Nagorno Karabakh be incorporated into the region of Azarbaijan.
There is no doubt that the Azeri population is a majority in the Nagorno Karabakh region and the Nagorno Karabakh Assembly the body governing Nagorno Karabakh’s affairs is composed entirely of Azeri citizens. However it is not clear whether these Azeris are sufficiently knowledgeable about the history culture and language of the Nagorno Karabakh people to support the Azeri claim that these people should be allowed to retain their ethnic identity in the region of Nagorno Karabakh. As a result there has been considerable infighting between the Azeri and Artsakh governments as to what ethnic groups they should allow to remain in their respective areas of Nagorno Karabakh and what ethnic groups they should allow to emigrate to other regions of the country. This is one reason that the Azeri leadership has resorted to a “secret weapon” namely the “secret peace plan” that they released in the media in May of 2020.
This secret plan states that it is in the best interest of both sides to accept a cease-fire and to end the ongoing fighting. In fact the secret plan calls on the Azeris to stop shelling the Artsakh territory while the Artsakh government urges the Azeris to halt all offensive activities and to agree to a “cease-fire” before they agree to any such plan. The secret plan also includes a list of conditions for a “cease-fire” that includes among other things a mutual promise by both parties that the border will remain open and that the two sides will maintain open political channels of communication with each other. While this is certainly a good sign there is still one major question that this plan does not answer: How will the Azeris be able to live peacefully within an area where they cannot cross the border?