Azerbaijan. By New Year, police arrested six people accused of conspiring with a banned militant Islamic group. According to the authorities, the arrested had prepared attacks on, among other things. US Embassy in the capital of Azerbaijan Baku. A few weeks later, President George W. Bush announced that the United States would lift its sanctions on Azerbaijan. The measure was justified by the US-led fight against terrorism, which was supported by Azerbaijan President Gejdar Alijev. US sanctions against Azerbaijan had been in force for ten years because of Azerbaijan’s conflict with Armenia over the Armenian breaker climax Nagorno-Karabakh.
According to Countryaah website, national day of Azerbaijan is every October 18. President Aliyev visited Moscow in January, which led to a softening of strained relations with Russia as well. Among other things, Azerbaijan agreed that the Russian military leases a radar station in northern Azerbaijan for another ten years. The settlement was condemned by Azerbaijan’s ally Turkey, who feared a rapprochement between Azerbaijan and Russia.
In May, Pope John Paul II visited Muslim Azerbaijan and then called for an end to all religious wars.
In August, a referendum was held on a draft constitutional amendment. According to critics, the proposal would pave the way for President Aliyev’s son to succeed his father and, moreover, make the election system more favorable to the regime. The authorities claimed that 97% voted in favor of the proposals, but opposition leaders reported widespread electoral fraud.
Government critics were arrested by police on several occasions during the year, including after demonstrations in the city of Nardaran that were designated as a haven for Islamic radicalism. However, the residents of Nardaran said they protested against high unemployment and poor living conditions.
In October, members of the opposition party Musavat were arrested and the Democratic Party headquarters were stormed by police. The intensified conflict with Aliyev’s regime appeared to be one of the previously divided opposition, which demanded the resignation of the president during large demonstrations. Alijev was criticized, among other things. for their attempts to resolve the negotiations around Nagorno-Karabakh with negotiations. Several opposition politicians advocated a new war against Armenia.
During the autumn, work started on a more than 175 km long oil pipeline, which will go from Baku through Georgia and Turkey to the port city of Ceyhan on the Mediterranean. At the same time, Azerbaijan and Russia agreed on the delicate border crossing of the oil-rich Caspian Sea.
Fleeing Armenians burn the houses
Following the recent war in Nagorno-Karabakh, tens of thousands of Armenians are now leaving places they were encouraged to move into in the 1990s, when Armenian forces occupied the territories. Armenia and the ethnic Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh must relinquish control of Azerbaijan over Ağdam, Kalbajar and the Latin Corridor by 1 December. The three districts and another four that have now been recaptured by Azeri forces have, among other things, formed a buffer zone around the enclave.. The Latin Corridor, which forms the physical link between Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia, will be monitored by Russian troops on November 9, according to the agreement. Ağdam, which in Soviet times had about 40,000 inhabitants, has been almost a ghost town since the 1990s. Kalbajar, which Azeris were forced to leave in the 1990s, will now be evacuated by Armenian civilians and soldiers. In Kalbajar, house fires are seen that are built so that moving or relocating azeris do not enjoy the buildings.
Ceasefire with Armenian losses
Armenia and Azerbaijan, with Russia as intermediary, sign a ceasefire agreement after six weeks of fighting in and around Nagorno-Karabakh, the breakaway enclave in Azerbaijan with an Armenian population. Azerbaijan retains all the land taken and the Armenians promise to withdraw from some nearby areas as well. Nearly 2,000 Russian soldiers will be deployed to guard front sections and prisoners of war will be exchanged. According to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Turkey will also have a peacekeeping role. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan described the deal as “incredibly painful”. In the enclavesays leaders of the ethnic Armenians that the capital Stepanakert was about to fall, and that continued war would have worsened the situation for them. But outraged protesters in Armenia’s capital, Yerevan, are reacting by storming parliament, beating the president and looting the prime minister’s office.
Exposed location for disputed city
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev announces in a televised speech that Azerbaijani forces have occupied an important city in the Nagorno-Karabakh separatist clave: Şuşa in Azeri (belonging to the Turkish language family), Shushi or Shushi in Armenian. The city is located along a road that connects the enclave with Armenia, but also near the enclave’s capital Stepanakert. The situation is strategic: it facilitates an attack on Stepanakert for Azerbaijan’s forces.