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Opinion: The conflict we can't ignore

October 14, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Old woman stands in the entrance of her home with a rifle during the shelling of the azeri army over Stepanakert city during the clashes between Azerbaijan and Nagorno Karabakh. The old woman is determined not to move and defend her home until the last moments. (Photo by Celestino Arce/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

While the world is preoccupied with the Covid-19 pandemic, the regional conflict in the remote separatist enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh is threatening to escalate into a wider war on the doorsteps of Europe and Asia, writes Michael Bociurkiw. The conflict requires careful handling at a time when Russia and Turkey -- already on opposite sides in proxy wars like Syria and Libya -- have become involved and Iran may be poised to enter the fray.

(CNN)While the world is preoccupied with the Covid-19 pandemic, the regional conflict in the remote separatist enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh is threatening to escalate into a wider war on the doorsteps of Europe and Asia.

Nagorno-Karabakh is controlled by ethnic Armenians located in Azerbaijan and both Armenia and Azerbaijan, two former Soviet republics, have accused each other of violating the terms of the ceasefire.

Turkey, which has strong economic and cultural ties with Azerbaijan and a fraught history with ethnic Armenians, is said to have transported paid mercenaries from Syria to Azerbaijan's line of contact in the fight over the 1,700-square-mile enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Maurer, whose organization has been active in Nagorno-Karabakh since the conflict started in 1992, said adjusting to a new normal is still a work in progress.

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