Karabakh Extends Hand to Azerbaijan

The Sarsang Dam

Nagorno-Karabakh Republic authorities express readiness to dialogue with Azerbaijan over water resources.

STEPANAKERT—The authorities of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic have expressed their willingness to begin discussions with their counterparts in Baku over the governance of water resources on the border of Artaskh and Azerbaijan, reported the Armenian Service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Aghabegyan told RFE/RL that the focus of the discussions would be the development of water reservoirs from the Sarsang Dam and the Tartar river.

This follows days of demonstrations by residents near the Tartar River on the Azerbaijan side, demanding local Azeri authorities to provide adequate water for agriculture in the area.

Aghabegyan said that the Sarsang Dam, located in the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, has great potential and if the waterways constructed during the Soviet era were to be used in the proper manner both Karabakh and Azerbaijan can benefit from the water resources.

Aghabegyan argued that if Azerbaijan rejects the dialogue offer, the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic will make large-scale investments to create pumping stations to re-direct border-area water resources to only serve Artsakh proper.

“We use the water from Sarsang to produce electricity and the calendar is calibrated to meet only our needs. In the event of the cooperation, we can utilize those resources to serve both [Karabakh and Azerbaijan],” explained Aghabegyan.

The deputy prime minister said that Karabakh has always been willing to cooperate with Azerbaijan, which while it is the enemy today, is never the less a neighbor. He insisted that through this type of cooperation the population on both sides can be prepared for an eventual peace, that in his words, will follow the adherence to the cease-fire regime leading to a mutual understanding between the two countries.

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7 Comments

  1. Kevork said:

    Not only NKR but Armenia too should block all water going to “Azerbaijan” and then sell the water if they express interest after opening the borders. I am surprised we are not doing this already. Those “Azeris” will quickly learn that water is more important than oil.

  2. www.Voskanapat.info said:

    This is not a good idea. Baku Republic is still occupying Armenian lands and an agreement like this will officially recognize the illegitimate sultanate. Let them go back to Altay mountains where there is plenty of water.

    Armenian lands on both sides of the artificial border should be returned to their rightful owners and only after that Armenian rivers will bring water to Armenian lands.

    By the way, the pipelines bringing oil and gas from Baku to Europe also go through occupied Armenian lands.

  3. edward demian said:

    Absolutely. A gallon for gallon. Water for oil. It is only fair. But what I suspect will happen, is, that the Azery leader the great generalissimo will nix the deal. I hope so. Because someone in theArmenian or Attsack government might wake up and realize, that water is as valuable as oil and that Artsack would be better off exporting water to Iran for Oil and gas.

  4. Garo Yeghichian said:

    We are neighbers(yes) and is very good idea to cooperate, but not with this sort people, the Azerbaijani are peasants and unfortunatly they will stay peasants.

  5. gogik said:

    Sounds like this is more of a proposal to jointly utilize water resources for energy generation. I am NOT surprised that Azeri authorities laughed at such a proposal given that Azerbaijan has plenty of Oil and Gas for itself and export as well as multiple Hydroelectric power plants. If the offer was joint utilization of land and irradiation of borders I would consider an “extension of hand”.

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