The Crisis In The Middle East

Armenia and Azerbaijan Conflict


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Nagorno-Karabakh region

Mains level : Usual crisis in the middle east and caucasus region

Clashes have erupted between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the volatile Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Consider this PYQ:

Q.The area is known as ‘Golan Heights’ sometimes appears in the news in the context of the events related to: (CSP 2015)

a) Central Asia
b) Middle East
c) South-East Asia
d) Central Africa

What is the dispute?

  • Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh, a breakaway region that is inside Azerbaijan but is run by ethnic Armenians, declared martial law and mobilized their male populations.
  • Armenia said Azerbaijan had carried out an air and artillery attack on Nagorno-Karabakh.

Epicentre: The Nagorno-Karabakh region

  • Nagorno-Karabakh broke away from Azerbaijan in a conflict that broke out as the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.
  • Though a ceasefire was agreed in 1994 after thousands of people were killed and many more displaced.
  • Azerbaijan and Armenia frequently accuse each other of attacks around Nagorno-Karabakh and along the separate Azeri-Armenian frontier.

Economics behind the clashes

  • The clashes prompted a flurry of diplomacy to prevent a new flare-up of a decades-old conflict between majority Christian Armenia and mainly Muslim Azerbaijan.
  • Pipelines shipping Caspian oil and natural gas from Azerbaijan to the world pass close to Nagorno-Karabakh.
  • The clashes have raised concerns about instability in the South Caucasus, a corridor for pipelines transporting oil and gas to world markets.
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