On the 19th of January, the Center for Conflict and Humanitarian Studies (CHS) and the Armenian Embassy in Doha co-organized a lecture delivered by Mr. Narek Adamyan, co- founder of the Orbeli Analytical Research Center and a political science lecturer at the Public Administration Academy of the Republic of Armenia. Held at the CHS, the discussion was focused on the current conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh (NKR), and was moderated by Professor Sultan Barakat, Founding Director of CHS.

This event arises from CHS' commitments to promoting dialogue and advancing analysis of conflicts and peacebuilding. It also advances CHS' aim of collaboration as it pools expertise from the CHS team, students and scholars, diplomats, and other interested individuals – including members of the Armenian and Azerbaijani diasporas in Qatar.

Following a brief introduction to the event, Mr. Adamyan began his lecture by emphasizing the internationalized nature of the NKR war due to the involvement of various actors from beyond the Caucasus region. He provided an overview of the second Karabakh war in 2020, which lasted 44 days until the declaration of a Russian-brokered ceasefire in November 2020 and was marked as the bloodiest military operation between Armenia and Azerbaijan since 1994. He advanced the claim that the historical roots of the NKR conflict lie in the massacres committed against Armenians during the First World War and throughout the twentieth century in the region, including in two Azeri cities. On mediation and peacebuilding efforts, Adamyan expressed that seeking a political settlement in the Karabakh conflict was 'wishful thinking' and that, despite the 2020 ceasefire agreement, multiple issues remain unresolved. Mr. Adamyan then moved on to providing an overview of Armenian-Turkish and Armenian-Russian relations. He noted that whilst Armenian and Turkish efforts towards improving their relations have stalled, recent improvements in 2022 offer hope for a more positive relationship to emerge between the two bordering nations. On Armenian-Russian relations, Mr. Adamyan noted that whilst Armenia and Russia have enjoyed diplomatic relations for 30 years – which include a mutual assistance treaty between the two nations signed in 1997 that is still in effect – their relations have also seen some challenges, particularly since Russia is careful with spoiling its relations with Azerbaijan.

After the public address, Professor Barakat engaged in an extended discussion with Mr. Adamyan on the prospects for a successful mediation of the NKR conflict, the views of people in NKR, and the roles of Iran and Israel in the conflict.  

In a lively question-and-answer session, Mr. Adamyan entertained critical comments and questions from the live audience, who included members of the Azerbaijani diaspora. These included: the need to deconstruct the narrative of victimhood in Armenia; the role of Armenian society in moving the country towards peace; Armenia's vision for a resolution of the conflict; the role of national education curricula in inciting animosity in conflicts; and the role of political elite in compromising or promoting peace.

Overall, the lecture highlighted the importance of political will in ending conflict, and also of sustaining dialogue outside formal politics and amongst civil society in conflict resolution and peacebuilding so that these efforts are more effective.

The conversation is available to watch on our YouTube page, and will soon be uploaded to our website alongside a report of the event.

For more information visit our event page