Highlighting the challenge of forging a lasting political settlement to the 26-year-long conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh, officials and experts in the two countries are offering starkly different views on the heavy fighting that erupted around the territory in late July and early August.
Not surprisingly, everyone is convinced the other side started it. In Armenia, observers believe that Baku’s frustration with the stalled Karabakh peace process boiled over, prompting the Azerbaijani military to launch an attack. Azerbaijani analysts scoff at such speculation. “Baku would not start active military actions because, at that particular moment, both President Ilham Aliyev and Defense Minister Zakir Hasanov were on holidays outside of Azerbaijan,” Jasur Sumarinly, the head of the Baku-based Doctrina strategic affairs think tank, told EurasiaNet.org.
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Shahin Abbasov is a freelance correspondent based in Baku.