On January 29, 2020, the AIR Center held the presentation of the book “Contested Territories and International law: A Comparative Study of the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict and the Åland Islands Precedent” authored by Kamal Makili-Aliyev, Assistant Professor at the Malmö University in Sweden. The event, organized in cooperation with the State Committee on Work with Diaspora, was attended by the representative of various academic institutions, government agencies and diplomatic missions.
Farid Shafiyev, Chairman of AIR Center, in his opening remarks, noted that the book touches upon the application of some modalities of the Åland Islands model to the future autonomy status for the Nagorno-Karabakh region of the Republic of Azerbaijan. According to Dr. Shafiyev, the comparative analysis drawn between the Åland Island case in Finland and Nagorno-Karabakh is a worthwhile attempt to revitalize academic debate about the resolution of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict:
“As a think tank, the Air Center seeks to encourage broader discussions on various topics related to Azerbaijan’s foreign policy, but first of all to the most acute problem – the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict. We don’t have any breakthrough in the negotiation process, unfortunately. But it is still relevant to have discussions about the future model of Nagorno-Karabakh autonomy... This book indeed explores opportunities and draws comparison with the Åland island model. I have some reservations regarding the recommendations suggested by the author but I believe it is always useful to hold such discussions”.
Following Dr. Shafiyev, Fuad Chiragov, head of department at the AIR Center took the floor and provided a brief introduction about the author. Mr. Chiragov stressed that this book comes at the very critical time. He underlined that from the academic perspective this is the only publication about the relevant models to be applied in the Nagorno-Karabakh region released by an international academic publisher since 2010.
Kamal Makili Aliyev, the author of the book, highlighted that his book makes a comparative analysis between the conflict around the Åland Islands and the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict from the international legal perspective. According to him, although the studies demonstrate that the Åland model cannot be replicated in the Nagorno-Karabakh case in its entirety, but some elements of the model have the potential to be applied and to benefit in the latter case.