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Azerbaijan Unimpressed by Armenian Government’s Offer to Provide Additional Minefield Maps

Azerbaijan Unimpressed by Armenian Government’s Offer to Provide Additional Minefield Maps

Tensions escalate as Baku remains unimpressed by Armenia's offer to provide additional maps of minefields from Nagorno-Karabakh. The Armenian National Security Service (NSS) announced on January 25, 2024, its readiness to share eight new log books containing minefield maps with Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded, criticizing Armenia's move and claiming that Yerevan's intentions are not focused on contributing to the humanitarian process. According to the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry, the provided maps in the past have been deemed "ineffective, incomplete, and do not accurately portray the reality on the ground."

The root of the issue lies in the aftermath of the 2020 Artsakh War, where Azerbaijan has consistently demanded accurate minefield maps from Armenia, particularly in regions occupied during the 2020 war. Armenia, in response, has stated that these maps are prepared as a confidence-building measure, guided by humanitarian considerations.

The Armenian NSS statement revealed that the new minefield maps were obtained through interviews with Artsakh military personnel who forcibly left the region following Azerbaijan's military offensive in September 2023. Despite Armenia's assertion that this information is shared as a goodwill gesture, Azerbaijan perceives it as insufficient and accuses Armenia of lacking seriousness in clearing the territories.

Azerbaijan, on the other hand, has demanded urgent action from Armenia not only on the minefield issue but also regarding the fate of 4,000 missing Azerbaijanis and the locations of mass graves where Azerbaijanis have been buried over the last 30 years.

The tension between the two nations is further fueled by the recent hostage extension of pre-trial detention for eight former political and military leaders of Artsakh, detained following Azerbaijan's assault. The prosecutor-general in Azerbaijan claims they must stand trial for their alleged "crimes against the Azerbaijani people."

The Armenian government condemned these arrests, urging the international community to intervene, yet it appears that the issue is not prominently featured in ongoing discussions between Armenia and Azerbaijan regarding a potential peace treaty.


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