Contested Territories Azerbaijan By John Kalupa Azerbaijan currently is contesting the region of Nagorno-Karabakh with the neighboring nation of Armenia. Open warfare was fought over the area from 1988-1994 when a cease fire was signed. There still has yet to be agreement over ownership of this area. The Armenian-populated area has since revolted and secessionists have militarily occupied 16% of Azerbaijan. The conflict has displaced 800,000 Azerbaijani from the occupied lands and Armenia. 230,000 ethnic Armenians were displaced from their homes in Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan now seeks to set a border with Armenia to satisfy the Armenian secessionist and to connect the isolate region of Naxcivan exclave. Azerbaijan is willing to cede the region of Nagorno- Karabakh under the condition that the land occupied by the secessionist rebels is returned and transit route from Azerbaijan to Naxcivan exclave is ceded to Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan also requires compensation for the 800,000 displaced Azerbaijani that resulted from the conflict. The rich oil pockets in the Caspian Sea are what has made Azerbaijan wealthy. The oil from these pockets is the sole driving force in Azerbaijani economy. Azerbaijan, Russia and Kazakhstan have ratified a Caspian seabed delimitation treaty that distributes oil reserves based on equidistance. Iran refuses this a agreement and demands `1/5 even allocation of resources. Reserves in the center of the Caspian Sea are also contested among these countries. Despite Iran`s demand Azerbaijan will continue to use the area granted by the treaty with Russia and Kazakhstan for oil drilling. It has no intention of compromising it`s economy by surrendering any of this vital resource. It is our intention to retain any and all oil under our current jurisdiction. In light of this Azerbaijan still would like to maintain friendly relations with Iran. Contested Territories Azerbaijan It is the opinion of Azerbaijan that internationally contested territories should be diplomatically distributed to the countries involve. For internally contested territories it should be left up to the nation with the dispute for instance Russia/ Chechnya and China/Tibet. By peacefully resolving these boarder conflicts Azerbaijan hopes the U.N. will greatly decrease the amount of violence globally.
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