Moscow, 25 November 2020 (dpa/MIA) – Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev announced on Wednesday that the country’s military had moved further into territory ceded by Armenia following a recent flare-up in fighting between the neighbouring, former Soviet republics.
The Kalbajar district has been “liberated from occupation today. I heartily congratulate all the people of Azerbaijan on this occasion,” Aliyev said in a statement.
Kalbajar, in western Azerbaijan near the Armenian border, was among more than 120 localities control over which Armenia ceded in a peace agreement this month to end the bloody, six-week flare-up.
Azerbaijan had lost control of Kalbajar in the early 1990s during a war with Armenia as they transitioned into independent countries amid the breakup of the Soviet Union.
Kalbajar – named Karvachar in Armenian – had been a strategic link between Armenia’s internationally recognized border and Armenian-held areas in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, a focus of the recent fighting.
Nagorno-Karabakh, for decades largely controlled by Christian Armenian troops, is considered by the United Nations as part of predominantly Muslim Azerbaijan.