(MENAFN- Asia Times) After its
rapid military advance
last week, Azerbaijan is set to establish full sovereignty over Nagorno-Karabakh, the
country's contested mountainous enclave
that has been under ethnic-Armenian control for three decades.
With that dispute nearing a conclusion, Azerbaijan may now move to resolve its next point of contention with Armenia: completion of the so-called Nakhchivan (or Zangezur)
But unlike Nagorno-Karabakh, a carved-out corridor in Armenia's south would have serious implications for the region, rewriting the geopolitical map for Iran, Russia, Turkey – and potentially even Israel.
In 2020, a Moscow-brokered
ending the 44-day war between Armenia and Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh guaranteed“the safety of transport links between the western regions of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic.” Control over the land link would be managed by Armenian security forces as well as“the bodies of the Border Guard Service of the FSB of Russia.”
Because the proposed corridor slices across Syunik province, the only portion of Armenia that borders Iran, Armenia could see its access to the Iranian market jeopardized. Azerbaijan, on the other hand, would gain a direct route not only to Nakhchivan, but also to NATO member Turkey, while Iran would see its north semi-encircled by Turkic states.
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