Saturday, February 12, 2022

Armenian-Azerbaijani Border Delimitation May Take Several Years, Experts Say

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Dec. 21 – Armenia and Azerbaijan have agreed to begin border delimitation talks and generally agree on using the 1991 administrative borders as the basis for them, experts in the region say. But despite that and despite the fact that there are no major disagreements on that line, the talks, already taking place behind the scenes, may last several years.

            Following the meeting between Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in Brussels, Armenian Deputy Prime Minister Mger Grigoryan said that conversations between the two sides about delimitation have already begun (

            But Armenian political observer Naira Ayrumyan says that it is unlikely the commission agreed to in Brussels will begin work anytime soon. Yerevan isn’t interested in that and won’t move quickly unless Pashinyan agrees to some comprehensive accord that requires that border delimitation talks begin, she adds.

            Azerbaijani political scientist Rasim Musabekov says that the talks may drag on for several years. What is most important now, he argues, is to “take a political decision on the principles of delimitation,” and the core of these is that discussions about the border should begin with a common acceptance of the administrative borders of 1991 as the basis for talks.

            Once that is done, he continues, the two sides can get down to discussions about modifications in a small number of places. As of now, Baku and Yerevan agree on most of the border and thus need only focus on a relatively few kilometers in the talks. But according to Musabekov, the two sides are not yet ready to make that declaration.

            Nonetheless, he expects the delimitation commission to begin work in 2022 and to make gradual progress on each of the disputed portions of the border, most of which involve access to the exclaves each side has on the territory of the other. (On these, see

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