Geography, and questions of access to territory, are key concerns driving conflict between Armenians and Azerbaijanis who for many years have had no access to each other’s societies or territories controlled by the other side.
All Armenian-Azerbaijani borders are closed and fortified, and many of them are subject to regular attacks of varying intensity. Yet a peace agreement would envisage the opening of borders, and would require the careful management of movement in a highly sensitive political context.
This discussion paper incorporates a number of perspectives through which the issue of access is understood today.
While identifying areas of clear disagreement,
it also explores points of convergence, asking whether this issue can be reframed as a solution to a common problem.
It looks at a number of areas of policy relevance, including the potential for access to be a confidence-building measure and it offers possible entry points for further Armenian-Azerbaijani dialogue on this topic of access.
The publication is based on discussions from a meeting of the Karabakh Contact Group (KCG) – a platform
for collaborative thinking on issues facing the Armenian-Azerbaijani peace process supported by Conciliation Resources
Over three days in Tbilisi in late 2014, the KCG brought together Armenian and Azerbaijani civil society analysts and international experts on access, movement regimes (rules administering the movement of people), and the Nagorny Karabakh conflict.
This publication was made possible by the generous support of the European Union, through the “European Partnership for the Peaceful Settlement of the Conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh (EPNK)”.