Azerbaijan celebrates

Azerbaijani citizens celebrate the peace deal that is expected to end the 30 yearlong Armenian occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh on Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020 (AA Photo)

Azerbaijan celebrated the signing of an agreement on Tuesday, which is considered the victory of Azerbaijan and the defeat of Armenia in the 30-year conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. People took to the streets after President Ilham Aliyev announced that the agreement had halted fighting for the region and defeated Armenia. The turning point was the acquisition of a strategic point – the second largest city in Nagorno-Karabakh, the city of Shusha, which is only about 14 kilometers away from the capital Stepanakert. Azerbaijanis consider Shusha to be the historic capital of the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region. In 1992, when Shusha was captured by the Armenians, all Azerbaijanis were forced to leave the city. At that time, they made up 85.5% of the town’s population. In his television speech, Aliyev said that the Agdam region would be returned to Baku on November 20, while Kalbadjar by November 15 and Lachin by December 1. Despite the morning hours, the capital Baku was the scene of enthusiastic celebrations, with thousands of people carrying both Azerbaijani and Turkish flags. Some Azerbaijanis danced in the streets, others celebrated in columns of cars. Some cried with happiness and others sang songs and the national anthem. In Ganja, the second largest city in the country, people celebrated as well. Hundreds of people carrying Azerbaijani and Turkish flags gathered in Ganja’s main square. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin announced earlier that day that Azerbaijan and Armenia had signed an agreement. Relations between the two former Soviet republics over Nagorno-Karabakh have been tense since 1991, with a new armed conflict erupting on 27 September 2020. Since then, Armenia has repeatedly attacked Azerbaijani civilians and armed forces, even violating three ceasefire humanitarian agreements. About 20% of Azerbaijan’s territory has been under illegal Armenian occupation for almost three decades.


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