Center of Analysis of International Relations has recently held round table discussions on the processes taking place around the city of Lachin. Farid Shafiyev, Chairman of the AIR Center, mentioned that the city of Lachin is fully under the control of Azerbaijan after 30 years of occupation. According to him, the status of Lachin during the occupation always had a special place in the negotiations and was discussed as a separate item within the negotiations conducted by the OSCE Minsk Group.
Farid Shafiyev noted that during the last month, the Armenian propaganda machine and politicians operating under the influence of the diaspora have started attacking Azerbaijan and were trying to show that Armenians lived in Lachin and now they have to leave their homes: "However, 98% of Lachin’s population consisted of Azerbaijanis, and approximately 300 Armenians lived there. Later, Armenians living in Lachin mainly came from Lebanon and Syria. In addition, a joint project with the diaspora was implemented on the resettlement of Armenians from Armenia to Lachin, and some financial assistance was provided to them".
The AIR Center Board Member, Esmira Jafarova said that paragraph 6 of the tripartite November agreement clearly stated that after the construction of the alternative road to the Lachin corridor, the city will be fully under the control of Azerbaijan: "Azerbaijan has built and is about to finish the alternative road to the Lachin corridor. And now, when the events are about to end, we hear statements from the political leadership of Armenia that do not help the process. Armenia's position shows that the country is not ready for peace and has to fulfill its obligations due to Azerbaijan's offensive diplomacy.
Esmira Jafarova also added that currently another issue is the construction of a road through the territory of Armenia. According to her, after Armenians leave Zabukh and Sus and the alternative road is put into use, Armenia will have no other choice but to build the continuation of the alternative road.
According to Matin Mammadli, the AIR Center’s leading advisor, the toponyms of the region prove that the territory of Lachin belonged to Azerbaijan for thousands of years. In this regard, he mentioned the names of toponyms such as Aghaoğlan Temple, Malik Ajdar Tomb, Bayandur, Garadağli, Kizilgaya. He also added that the struggle of Armenians for Lachin did not stop even during the USSR. Thus, they saw Lachin as an obstacle to the autonomous province. Matin Mammadli noted that the complete transfer of Lachin to the control of Azerbaijan will contribute positively to the negotiations and security of the environment.
Political scientist, Zaur Mammadov made a presentation on the history and demographic situation of the Lachin city. He said that Lachin, which was always mentioned to be a painful issue for Armenians, took a special place in the negotiation process in the post-occupation period, and Lachin was proposed to be kept as a demilitarized area with a new regime. He added that Lachin Corridor is already becoming history which indicates to its new status. The political scientist added that the principles applied to the new Lachin road should be the same as to the Zangezur corridor.