The Moscow mediated truce deal signed last year between Azerbaijan and Armenia is on the verge of unravelling if talks today do not produce a result.
A string of meetings to discuss the future of breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh has led to last-chance discussions in Munich, but Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev has already warned his country would be prepared to take the region back by force. “If the meeting ends without result, then our hopes in negotiations will be exhausted and then we are left with no other option. We should be prepared for that. Work on building up our army over the last few years has been undertaken for a purpose,“said President Aliyev. Ethnic Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh, backed by Christian Armenia rose up and broke from Muslim Azerbaijan during the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Thousands died in the fighting until a ceasefire was declared in 1994. Since then tensions over the region have coloured political relations. It is again in the spot-light as Azerbaijan’s supporter, Turkey, has refused to ratify an accord with Armenia to restore diplomatic relations until progress is made over the future of Nagorno-Karabakh.