Increasingly this post has stuck with me as one of the most prescient insights I've seen on the Karabakh conflict. There is an almost total lack of understanding between Armenian and Azerbaijani societies of what will be acceptable to the other side as an outcome.
Every outbreak of war (in this case, a well-planned Azerbaijani offensive) only further hardens the existing positions. Az needs to understand that full military reconquest is not a solution (or likely even possible); Arm/Kar needs to understand '7 occupied regions' can't be kept
This will likely be an extremely difficult pill to swallow for each side, which makes very strong international involvement (diplomatically and peacekeepers on the ground) the only possible solution. Otherwise side that feels they lost the most will always want war.
Of course the political geography of the region makes this extremely challenging, with NK 'proper' (former NKAO) isolated and extremely exposed w/o surrounding regions. Could it be possible to have some concessions incorporating small parts of this into NK territory? Who knows.
There are small parts of former NKAO that remain outside of Karabakhti control; perhaps these could be part of swap w/some lands in western 'occupied regions' (most crucial for NK security) remaining in NK. Neither side is likely to really enjoy this prospect, but it's a thought.
I can't speak as well to perception of Arm govt in Az but nature of Aliyev govt IMO hugely complicates this. Whatever you think, Armenia is a relatively democratic, open country. Azerbaijan's govt is extremely repressive & a textbook dictatorship. I don't think this is debatable.
Conduct of Azerbaijan in the present war is also now maybe the biggest obstacle to any possible peace. Yes, Karabakh/Armenia have struck civilian cities, which is bad. But Azerbaijan a) did it first and b) has done it 20x more. Pictures, videos from Stepanakert testify to this.
And the international community, despite inaction, is well aware of this too, as present EU session discussing sanctions on Azerbaijan and Turkey shows. Anyways, we're not close to the end of this current round of the war.
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