The year 2020 will remain memorable for many of us, mainly due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, in the Middle East, especially in Azerbaijan and Armenia, most people will remember the Karabakh war from that tragic year. The 44-day war ended with the recapture of Karabakh by the Azeris.
History of the conflict
In 1990 and 1991, as the Soviet Union weakened and then disintegrated, an independent republic of Azerbaijan was established. However, the war with Armenia overshadowed their independence. Previously, the Soviet Union controlled the conflict between the two countries.
In the Western press as well as in Hungary, the events are often described as an Islamic-Christian war.
But this does not cover the reality at all. Karabakh is internationally recognized as the territory of Azerbaijan. However, the Soviet Union ceased to exist. Subsequently, with the help of Russia, the Armenian army separated Karabakh from Azerbaijan, although this was not internationally recognized by many states. Among the countries in the region, Turkey supported Azerbaijan, while Russia sided with Armenia.
Despite international intentions, the conflict could not be resolved at the negotiating table.
The war period
The reconquest of Karabakh had long been the goal of the Azerbaijani government, waiting only for the right conditions and the right time. Szabadeuropa.hu writes that Azerbaijan had several advantages over Armenia. The Azeris have invested well in oil capital.
Better technologies and tactics have all benefited the Azeris.
More than 6,000 people lost their lives in the battle, which lasted nearly a month and a half. The war ended with Azerbaijan liberating the city of Susa, known for its art and culture. Then
Azerbaijani President İlham Əliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pasinyan signed a ceasefire agreement on November 10, 2020 in the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
As a result of the war, the acquired territories came under Azeri control, including the city of Susa and the Karabakh region. Russian soldiers march towards Xan kendi to protect Armenians and maintain peace.
After the war, Armenia was hit by a domestic political crisis due to the defeat. In Azerbaijan, the presidency of İlham Əliyev has been strengthened and the country is currently working to get back on track. On the one hand, they literally plan to rebuild the country, as the construction of many new buildings and road network is on the agenda.
These construction projects are progressing well. The fact that they built Fuzuli International Airport in less than a year is a good example. On the other hand, Azerbaijan is also working to enhance the image of the country and boost the tourism sector. Therefore, they organized the Baku Formula 1 race and secured the hosting rights for the European Football Championship.
Hungary has always maintained friendly relations with Azerbaijan.
The Hungarian government and the Hungarian Foreign Ministry have repeatedly sided with Azerbaijan. After the Karabakh war, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said that Hungary offered financial support and aid for reconstruction work. In 2021, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s guest was Sahiba Gafarova, Speaker of the National Assembly of Azerbaijan, writes origo.hu. The main topic was the good relations between the two countries.
In 2021, 900 Azerbaijani students applied for scholarships in Hungary.
Not only education, but also trade and energy supply strengthen their relationship. Azerbaijan will play an important role in supplying gas to Europe. According to an agreement, Azerbaijan will also export gas to Hungary from 2023.
The relationship between the two countries is not only economic. You can see the mutual sympathy through the fact that on November 10, 2021, Azeris living in Budapest celebrated their Flag and Victory Day. In the last days of 2019, the Azerbaijani House opened its doors in the Hungarian capital.
Source: origo.hu, szabadeuropa.hu, DailyNewsHungary