I was greatly dismayed to read Tarlan Ahmadov’s Nov. 18 letter (“Armenian separatist regime doesn’t deserve American welcome”), as it contains a highly misleading and inaccurate interpretation of the conflict between Armenians and Azeris in the Caucasus.

Mr. Ahmadov characterizes the conflict as a Russian proxy war of aggression on behalf of Armenian “stooges,” but the dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan stems from long-standing territorial disagreements between the two countries.

The conflict dates to World War I and concerns both countries’ claims to the Nagarno Karabakh region, a territory in Azerbaijan with a majority Armenian population. From 1988 to 1994, this dispute escalated into open warfare, in which both Armenian and Azeri forces perpetrated numerous war crimes, including massacres and ethnic cleansing. Tensions continue to this day and are exacerbated by Azerbaijan’s public denial of the Armenian Genocide of the earliest 20th century. While Russia does maintain close ties with Armenia, it has not intervened militarily in the conflict and even sponsored a cease-fire in 1994.

The Nagarno Karabakh conflict is a complex geopolitical issue that necessitates a nuanced solution from our policymakers, the United Nations and Russia. I hope our elected officials dispel jingoistic propaganda in favor of promoting an equitable and peaceful agreement acceptable to all sides.

Kevin MacDowell

Portland

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