History of Karabakh

History of the Nagorno-Karabakh Region of the Republic of Azerbaijan

The Karabakh province of Azerbaijan has served as an important political, cultural, and spiritual center for centuries.

From Antiquity

From the 4th century B.C.E. to the 8th century C.E., the ancient state of Caucasian Albania covered most of the territory of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of present-day Azerbaijan. Classical sources name the Kura River as the frontier between Armenia and Caucasian Albania. After the partition of Armenia in 387 C.E., the region became a part of Caucasian Albania ruled by the Mikhranids under suzerainty of the Sassanid Empire. Sassanid-dominated Caucasian Albania fell to the Islamic conquest of Persia in the mid 7th century and was incorporated into the Umayyad Caliphate. Arabic conquest of the lowlands of Caucasian Albania, as well as of the valleys of Kura and Araz in the 7th century, resulted in the Islamization of the population of the plains and a merge with the Turkic-speaking population of the country. The Caucasian Albanian population, ruled by Caucasian Albanian Mikhranid princes, remained in Caucasian Albanian alongside migrating Turkic tribes.

From the 7th century C.E, the ruling power within the Karabakh region took many forms, from satrapies and individual princedoms to regional governments. From 821 C.E. until the early 9th century, Karabakh was a part of Abbasid Caliphate. Persian and Armenian influence in the region grew, and the Caucasian Albanian ethnic self-conscience was gradually eroded away. After the fall of the independent Albanian state in the 8th century C.E., the region was controlled by many successive Islamic dynasties: in the end of the 9thcentury by the Sajids; in the 10th century by the Sallarids; and in the 11th and12th centuries under the Shaddadids.

Medieval Period

In the 11th and 12th centuries, a cultural renaissance took place in Azerbaijan and a strong national identity was forged under the rule of the Seljuk Empire. Many view this period as the Golden Age in Azerbaijani history. Throughout the remainder of the Middle Ages, Karabakh became increasingly culturally and politically intertwined with what would become the state of Azerbaijan.

A descendant of the Sassanid dynasty, King Hasan Jalal began ruling the region in 1214. After his death in 1261, the kingdom was besieged by the westward expansions of Tatar and Mongol tribes. In the 14th century, Turk tribes Gara Koyunlu and Aq Qoyunlu replaced the Tatars and Mongols as the dominant force in the region. During this period the area received its name Karabakh (Black Garden), coming from the Turkic Kara (black) and Farsi bagh (garden). This kingdom was ruled by the Jalalids until 15th century.

From the 15th to 19th Century: Melikdoms and the Karabakh Khanate

In the 15th century the Jalalids were granted the title of melik (count), and five melikdoms appeared in Karabakh: Gulistan, Jraberd, Khachen, Varanda, and Dizak. The title of melik was conferred upon the ruling families of the melikdoms. While initially subordinate to Persia’s Ganja Khanate (ruled by the Ziyad-oglu Gajars), the meliks were granted a wide degree of autonomy by Safavid Persia over Karabakh, maintaining control over the region for four centuries. In the early 18th century, Persia’s Shah Nadir took Karabakh out of control of Ganja khans as punishment for their support of the Safavid Empire, and placed the region directly under his own control. At the same time, the meliks were granted supreme command over neighboring Armenian principalities and Muslim khanates in Caucasus, in return for the meliks’ victories over the invading Ottoman Turks in 1578-1605 and again in 1723-1736.

In 1747, Panah Javanshir, a local Turkic chieftain, seized control of the both upper and lower Karabakh after the death of the Persian ruler Shah Nadir, and established the new Karabakh Khanate in 1750. He consolidated his local power by establishing a de facto independent khanate and subordinating the five meliks in the region, which were referred to as the Khamsa (five in Arabic). The first capital of the khanate was the castle of Bayat, in Karabakh, followed by the fortified town of Panahabad in 1750-1752. Later, Khan Panah Ali Javanshir expanded the territory of Karabakh Khanate subjugating territory of Karabakh, Meghri, Tatev, Karakilise, Kafan in Zangezur and the Nakchivan Khanate. During the reign of his son Khan Ibrahim-Khalil Javanshir, Panahabad became a large town and was renamed Shusha.

During this time, Shusha became a flourishing cultural capital with many reverberating cultural developments still expressed in modern Azerbaijani culture. Azerbaijan’s most notable female poet Natavan was closely engaged in philanthropy, promoting the social and cultural affluence of Karabakh from her native town of Shusha.

The rise and fall of the Ottoman Empire dominated Karabakh and the surrounding areas during the early modern period, until the Russian expansion from the mid-18th century onwards. The Karabakh Khanate grew in importance and established ties with neighboring khanates as well as with Iran, Ottoman, and Russian empires. On May 14, 1805, the Kurekchay Treaty was signed between the Karabakh Khanate and the Russian Empire. According to this treaty, the Karabakh Khan Ibrahim Khalil Javanshir recognized supremacy and dominance of the Russian Empire, gave up the right to carry out independent foreign policy and agreed pay the Russian Treasury eight thousand gold rubles a year. In its turn, the Czarist government promised not to infringe upon the right of the legitimate successors of the Karabakh khan to administer the internal affairs of their possessions. However in the same year, Russians reneged on the treaty, acting on suspicion that Khan Ibrahim-Khalil Panah was disloyal, resulting in his death near Shusha.

Russian Empire and Bolshevik Revolution

The Russian Empire consolidated its power in Karabakh with the Treaty of Gulistan in 1813 and Treaty of Turkmenchay of 1828 after defeating Iran in the Russo-Persian Wars. In 1822, the Russian Empire abolished the Karabakh Khanate, along with the other khanates it had subdued by the early 19th century. The Karabakh Khanate was dissolved and the area became part of the Caspian Oblast under the Russian Empire in 1826. In 1876 it was made a part of the Elisabethpol Governorate (Ganja region), an administrative arrangement which remained in place until the collapse of the Russian Empire in 1917.

Due to its Christian population, the Russian Empire viewed Armenia, who were primarily Christian, as a crucial player in their Eastern expansion. Viewing that their Armenian co-religionists would provide a bulwark against the Ottoman Empire while being easier to rule, the Russians followed a program of Armenian settlement in neighboring provinces, including Karabakh. During this period, many Armenians migrated to Karabakh, accounting for the large proportion of Armenians living in the region today, and which laid the foundations for the current conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Twentieth Century

By the beginning of the 20th century, peoples of the Caucasus began to seek cultural and territorial autonomy. Initial clashes between ethnic Armenians and Azerbaijani took place in Baku in February 1905. Soon, the conflict spilled over to other parts of the Caucasus, and on August 5, 1905 first conflict between the Armenian and Azerbaijani inhabitants of Shusha occurred. As a result of the mutual violence, hundreds of people died and more than 200 houses were destroyed.

After World War I and the subsequent collapse of the Russian Empire, Karabakh was formally incorporated into the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (1918–1920); as a reaction, the Armenian faction within the region declared Nagorno-Karabakh self-governing and created a National Council and government. In 1920, the Russian Red Army invaded Azerbaijan and then Armenia, putting an end to the national de facto governments that existed in those two countries. During this period, conflict over control of Karabakh and its central town of Shusha, moved from the battlefield to the diplomatic arena.

The Bolsheviks promised to resolve the issue of the disputed territories, including Karabakh. However, on July 5, 1921, the Caucasus Bureau (Kavburo) of the Communist Party adopted the following decision regarding the future status of Karabakh: “Proceeding from the necessity of national peace among Muslims and Armenians and of the economic ties between upper and lower Karabakh, of its permanent ties with Azerbaijan, mountainous Karabakh is to remain within AzSSR, receiving wide regional autonomy with the administrative center in Shusha, which is to be included in the autonomous region.” As a result, the Nagorno Karabakh Autonomous Oblast (NKAO) was established as an integral part of the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) in 1923.

On July 7, 1923, the Central Executive Committee of the Azerbaijan SSR issued a Decree “On the Formation of the Nagorno Karabakh Autonomous Oblast.” Under the Constitution of theUSSR, the NKAO was represented by five deputies in the Council of Nationalities of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. It was represented by 12 deputies in the Supreme Soviet of the Azerbaijan SSR, and remained as such until the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.

End of the Soviet Union

In the 1980s, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev instituted glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring), in the hope of revitalizing the failing Soviet economic and political system. However, this liberalization led to the re-emergence of long-repressed nationalist movements and ethnic disputes within the diverse republics of the Soviet Union.

In February 1988, conflict surfaced in Azerbaijan’s autonomous region of Nagorno-Karabakh. Armed conflicts between Armenians and Azerbaijanis in Nagorno-Karabakh triggered a large-scale exodus of Azerbaijanis from Armenia and Armenians from Azerbaijan. On July 12, 1988, the Supreme Soviet of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast (NKAO) voted to secede from Azerbaijan and unite with Armenia. However, the Supreme Soviet of the USSRunanimously rejected this decision, declaring that under the Soviet Constitution, the NKAO had no right to secede from the Azerbaijan SSR. On January 20, 1989, the Soviet government assumed direct control of the region and Soviet troops were sent into Nagorno-Karabakh; nevertheless, the situation remained highly volatile. By the summer of 1989, the Armenian-populated areas of the NKAO were under blockade by Azerbaijan as a response to Armenia’s blockade against Nakhichevan, cutting most road and rail links to the outside world. In November 1989, the Soviet Politburo returned the oblast to Azerbaijani control.

On January 9, 1990, the Supreme Soviet of the Armenian SSR voted to include Nagorno-Karabakh in its budget and allowed its inhabitants to vote in Armenian elections, disregarding Soviet authority and Azerbaijani jurisdiction, causing rage throughout Azerbaijan. Azerbaijani demonstrators demanded the ousting of Communist officials and called for independence from the Soviet Union.

On November 26, 1991, the Parliament of the Azerbaijan SSR abolished the autonomous status of the NKAO and administratively split the region between the neighboring regions of Khojavend, Tartar, Goranboy, and Kalbajar. In response, the majority Armenian population of the region unilaterally declared independence as the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, claiming most of territories of Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast under the control of the ethnic Armenian forces of Nagorno-Karabakh. When the Soviet Union formally dissolved on December 25, 1991, the Nagorno-Karabakh region was reaffirmed as part of the independent Republic of Azerbaijan by the United Nations Security Council. Today, the Nagorno-Karabakh region is not recognized as independent by any state or international government, and is de jure part of Azerbaijan.

Post-Soviet Struggles

The struggle over Nagorno-Karabakh escalated after both Armenia and Azerbaijan attained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. By the end of 1993, the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh had caused thousands of casualties both sides and created hundreds of thousands of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs). On May 16, 1994, the leaders of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Russia met in Moscow to sign a ceasefire that would call for a cessation of hostilities.

Since 1995, the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group (France, Russia, and the United States) have been mediating with the governments of Armenia and Azerbaijan to settle for a new solution. Several series of peace settlement negotiations have occurred: Key West talks April 3-7, 2001; the Prague Process 2004-2005; and the Madrid Principles proposed in 2007.

The Key West talks provided a forum for direct dialogue between the Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents aimed at developing a common ground on general principles of the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Despite initiating a number of positive developments, the talks failed to generate an agreement. Direct talks between the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan were started during the Prague Process, which despite positive signs in the drive to find a settlement to the conflict, failed to achieve a substantial breakthrough.

Proposed in 2007, the Madrid Principles proposed an agreement within the framework of the Helsinki Accords of 1975. The Madrid Principles included the following six points: return of the territories surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh to Azerbaijani control; an interim status for Nagorno-Karabakh providing guarantees for security and self-governance; a corridor linking Armenia to Nagorno-Karabakh; future determination of the final legal status of Nagorno-Karabakh through a legally binding expression of will; the right of all internally displaced persons and refugees to return to their former places of residence; and international security guarantees that would include a peacekeeping operation.

Over the next 18 months, senior officials from Armenia and Azerbaijan reached agreement on some of those points. But they reportedly made little or no progress towards agreeing on the specific time frame for the withdrawal of Armenian forces from the occupied Azerbaijani territories, or on the modalities of the decision on the future status of Nagorno-Karabakh.

The Declaration On Regulating the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict was signed November 2, 2008, in Moscow by the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia who stated their intention to “contribute to a healthier situation in the South Caucasus and the establishment of regional stability and security through a political settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict on the basis of the principles and norms of international law and adopted in the framework of decisions and documents.” This document was the first ever formal written accord in the sixteen years of mediation, and stressed the importance of the ongoing effort by the OSCE Minsk Group, and specifically of the Madrid Principles as the blueprint for a formal settlement of the conflict.

In 2009, the Madrid Principles were updated. The parties agreed to a phased approach to the six points of the original Principles. They include the phased withdrawal of Armenian troops from five Azerbaijani territories bordering on Nagorno-Karabakh, with special separate arrangements for two further districts of Azerbaijan (Kelbacar and Lachin) that separate Nagorno-Karabakh from the Republic of Armenia. The phased withdrawal would be followed by the demilitarization of those territories; the deployment of an international peacekeeping force; demining, reconstruction, and the return to those Azerbaijani districts of the population who were forced to flee during hostilities in 1992-93; and, finally, at an unspecified future date, a referendum or popular vote on the final legal status of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Further talks on the conflict were held in June 24-25, 2011 in Kazan, Russia between Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, and Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian. While both sides maintain that they are committed to peace, an agreement has not yet been reached.

Glossary of Terms

Abbasid Caliphate: The Abbasid Caliphate was the third of the Islamic caliphates. It was ruled by the Abbasid dynasty of caliphs from 750–1258 C.E. and again from 1261–1517 C.E., who built their capital in Baghdad after overthrowing the Umayyad caliphate from all but the al-Andalus region.

Azerbaijan Democratic Republic: The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (ADR) (Azerbaijani: Azərbaycan Xalq Cümhuriyyəti) was the first successful attempt to establish a democratic and secular republic in the Muslim world, pre-dating the Republic of Turkey. The ADR was founded on May 28, 1918 after the collapse of the Russian Empire. Among its accomplishments, theADR extended suffrage to women, making Azerbaijan the first Muslim nation to grant women equal political rights with men. After the Soviet invasion on April 25, 1920, the ADR officially ceased to exist on April 28, 1920, giving way to the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic (Azerbaijan SSR) as its successor state.

Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic: The Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic (AzSSR) (Azerbaijani: Azərbaycan Sovet Sosialist Respublikası) was a republic in the former Soviet Union. Established on April 28, 1920 as the Azerbaijan SSR, the Nagorno Karabakh Autonomous Oblast (NKAO) was established as an integral part of the Azerbaijan SSR in 1923. On November 19, 1990, Azerbaijan SSR was renamed the Republic of Azerbaijan, remaining in the USSR for another year before its independence in 1991.

Caucasian Albania: The name for the historical region of the eastern Caucasus, that existed in the territory of present-day republic of Azerbaijan and partially in southern Dagestan. It was established in the 4th century B.C.E. and ended in the 8th century C.E. From the 7th to 9th centuries, it fell under Arab control. Ruled by the Mikhranids, it was a territory, kingdom, vassal kingdom, and satrapy during the Parthian and Sassanid empires.

Gajars: The Gajar dynasty was an Iranian royal family of Turkic descent who ruled Persia (Iran) from 1785 to 1925. The Gajars came to power with the backing of Turkic tribal forces while using educated Persians in their bureaucracy, and filled a number of diplomatic missions and governorships in the 16th-17th centuries for the Safavids.

Ganja Khanate: The Ganja Khanate was a Muslim principality mostly under the dominion of Persia that existed in the territory of Azerbaijan in 1747-1805. The principality was ruled by the dynasty of Ziyadoglu, which had ruled Ganja as governors under Shah Nadir and was of Gajar extraction.

Jalalids: The Jalalids were one of the branches of the former Albanian Mihranid dynasty. During the Jalalids rule in the mountainous part of Karabakh the Albanian church revived, as did the Albanian self-conscience, and gorgeous temples were built in the Agdere and Kelbajar regions. The Khachin principality reached the highest glory during the rule of Hasan Jalal (1215-1261).

Karabakh: (Azerbaijani: Qarabağ) is a geographic region in present-day southwestern Azerbaijan, extending from the highlands of the Lesser Caucasus down to the lowlands between the rivers Kura and Aras. It includes Upper Karabakh (present-day Yuxarı) and Lower Karabakh (the southern Kura-steppes). The word Karabakh is thought to originate from Turkic “Kara” and Persian “Bagh”, and literally means “black garden.”

Karabakh Khanate: The Karabakh Khanate was a semi-independent khanate on the territories of modern Azerbaijan and Armenia established in about 1750 under Persian suzerainty in Karabakh. The precursor of the Karabakh Khanate, Karabakh beylerbeylik (province) was one of the provinces established in the northern part of the Safavid Empire. The Safavid shah of Iran Tahmasp I granted the governance of province to Qajar-related Ziyadoglu family in 1540. Later, Khan Panah Ali expanded the territory of Karabakh Khanate subjugating territory of Karabakh, Meghri, Tatev, Karakilise, Kafan in Zangezur, and Nakchivan Khanate. The Russian annexation of Karabakh was not formalized until the Treaty of Gulistan in 1813, when, as a result of Russo-Persian War (1804-1813), Karabakh was officially ceded Karabakh to Tsar Alexander I of Russia. The khanate was abolished in 1822.

Khan Panah Ali: Panah-Ali Khan Javanshir (1693, Sarijali, Azerbaijan – 1761, Shiraz, Iran) was the founder and first ruler of Karabakh khanate, initially under nominal Persian suzerainty and by 1748 an independent feudal state that existed in 1747–1822 in Karabakh and adjacent areas. Panah Ali Khan was from the Sarijali branch of the clan of Javanshir, who with their associate clan of Otuz-Iki (meaning thirty-two in Azerbaijani) had for long been rivals of the Yirmi-Dört (meaning twenty-four in Azerbaijani) and Ziyadoglu Qajars of Ganja, whose chiefs had been official rulers of Karabakh since Safavid times.

Khan Ibrahim Khalil Javanshir: Khan Ibrahim Khalil Javanshir (1730–1806) was the khan of Karabakh from the Javanshir family, who succeeded his father Panah-Ali khan Javanshir as the ruler of Karabakh khanate. On May 14, 1805 the Kurakchay Treaty between Khan Ibrahim Khalil and the Russian general Pavel Tsitsianov transferred the Karabakh khanate under Russian dominion.

Khanate: Khanate, or Chanat, is a Turco-Mongol-originated word used to describe a political entity ruled by a khan.

Lower Karabakh: The southern Kura-steppes of the Karabakh region. Currently, the region includes seven occupied Azerbaijani provinces: Aghdam, Fizuli, Gabrail, Zangelan, Gubadly, Lachin, and Kelbajar.

Mikhranids: The Mikhranids were the ruling dynasty of Caucasian Albania under suzerainty of the Sassanid Empire from the 5th century C.E. to the early 9th century C.E. Descendants of the Mikhranid clan restored the Albanian kingdom in Karabakh in the mid-9th century. This kingdom was ruled by the Jalaids until the 15th century.

Nagorno Karabakh Autonomous Oblast: The Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast was an autonomous province within the borders of the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic, created on July 7, 1923. On November 26, 1991, the Parliament of the Azerbaijan SSR abolished the autonomous status of the NKAO and administratively split the region between the neighboring rayons of Khojavend, Tartar, Goranboy, Shusha, and Kalbajar.

OSCE Minsk Group: With 56 States from Europe, Central Asia and North America, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is the world’s largest regional security organization. The Minsk Group, chaired by France, Russia, and the United States, regularly conducts high-level talks with the parties to the conflict and spearheads the OSCE’s efforts to find a political solution to the conflict in and around Nagorno-Karabakh involving Armenia and Azerbaijan. The permanent members of the Minsk Group include the following participating States: Belarus, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Finland, and Turkey as well as Armenia and Azerbaijan and led by a rotating OSCE Troika of past, present, and future chairpersons.

Panahabad/Shusha: Shusha is a town in the Nagorno-Karabakh region in the South Caucasus. Initally named Panahabad after its founder, Shusha was founded in 1750-1752 (according to other sources, 1756–1757) by Khan Panah-Ali Javanshir, the founder and the first ruler of the independent Karabakh Khanate (1748–1822).

Safavid Empire: The Safavid dynasty ruled one of the greatest Persian empires since the Muslim conquest of Persia. The Safavids ruled from 1501 to 1722 (experiencing a brief restoration from 1729 to 1736) and at their height, they controlled all of modern Islamic Republic of Iran, Republic of Azerbaijan and Republic of Armenia, most of Iraq, Georgia, Afghanistan, and the Caucasus, as well as parts of Pakistan, Turkmenistan and Turkey. The Safavid dynasty had its origin in the Safaviyya Sufi order, which was established in the city of Ardabil in the Azerbaijan region of northwest Iran.

Sajids: The Sajid dynasty was an Islamic dynasty that ruled the Iranian region of Azerbaijan from 889-890 C.E. until 929 C.E. The Sajids originated from the Central Asian province of Ushrusana and were of Iranic (Sogdians) descent.

Sallarids: The Sallarid dynasty (also known as the Musafirids or Langarids) was an Islamic Iranian dynasty principally known for its rule of Iranian Azerbaijan and part of Armenia from 942 C.E. until 979 C.E. They constitute the Iranian Intermezzoa period in history that saw the rise of native Iranian dynasties during the 9th to the 11th centuries.

Sassanid Empire: The Sassanid Persian Empire was the last pre-Islamic Persian Empire, ruled by the Sassanian Dynasty from 224 C.E. to 651 C.E. The Sassanid Empire was recognized as one of the two main powers in Western Asia and Europe, alongside the Roman Empire and then the Byzantine Empire, for a period of more than 400 years.

Seljuk Empire: The Seljuks were a Turco-Persian Sunni Muslim dynasty that ruled parts of Central Asia and the Middle East from the 11th to 14th centuries. Today, they are remembered as great patrons of Persian culture, art, literature, and language and are regarded as the cultural descendants of the Oghuz Turks – the present-day inhabitants of Azerbaijan, Turkey, and Turkmenistan, and the Crimean Peninsula. The defeat of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum against the Mongols in 1243 gave rise to the Ottoman Empire (1299-1923).

Shaddadids: The Shaddadids were a Kurdish dynasty who ruled in various parts of Armenia and Azerbaijan from 951-1174 C.E.

Shah Nadir: Nāder Shāh Afshār (November, 1688 or August 6, 1698 – June 19, 1747) ruled as Shah of Iran (1736–47) and was the founder of the Afsharid dynasty. Shah Nader has been described as “the last great Asian military conqueror.” He deposed the last members of the Safavid dynasty, and became shah himself in 1736. His campaigns created an empire that encompassed what is now Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, parts of the Caucasus region, parts of Central Asia, and Oman. His victories briefly made him the Middle East’s most powerful sovereign, but his empire quickly disintegrated after he was assassinated in 1747.

Treaty of Gulistan: The Treaty of Gulistan was a peace treaty between Imperial Russia and Persia on October 24, 1813 in the village of Gulistan (in the modern-day Goranboy region of Azerbaijan) as a result of the first Russo-Persian War. The treaty confirmed inclusion of modern day Azerbaijan, Daghestan, and Eastern Georgia into the Russian Empire.

Treaty of Kurekchay: The Treaty of Kurakchay, also known as the Russo-Karabakhi treaty, of May 14, 1805, was a treaty between the Russian military commander in the Caucasus Pavel Tsitsianov on behalf of Tsar Alexander I of Russia and Khan Ibrahim Khalil of the Karabakh khanate, which made the khanate a protectorate of the Russian empire. It was one in a series of treaties made between Russia and local khans in the southern Caucasus from 1801 to 1805.

Treaty of Turkmenchay: The Treaty of Turkmenchay was a treaty negotiated in Turkmenchay by which the Qajar Empire (modern Iran) recognized Russian suzerainty over the Yerevan Khanate, the Nakhchivan Khanate, and the remainder of the Talysh Thanate, establishing the Aras River as the common boundary between the empires, after its defeat in 1828 at the end of the Russo-Persian War, (1826-1828).

Umayyad Caliphate: Ruling from 661 C.E.–750 C.E, the Umayyad Caliphate was the second of the four major Islamic caliphates established after the death of Muhammad. At its greatest extent, it covered more than five million square miles (13,000,000 square kilometers), making it one of the largest empires the world had yet seen, and the seventh largest contiguous empire ever to exist.

Upper/Mountainous/Nagorno-Karabakh: The region is usually equated with the administrative borders of the former Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast within the Azerbaijan SSRcomprising an area of 1,700 square miles (4,400 square kilometers). The historical area of the region, however, encompasses approximately 3,175 square miles (8,223 square kilometers). The word nagorno- is a Russian attributive adjective, derived from the adjective nagorny (нагорный), which means “mountainous.” The Azerbaijani name of the region includes similar adjectives “dağlıq” (mountainous) or “yuxarı” (upper).

For more information please see the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 62/243,OSCE statement on the 2007 Madrid Principles, and Update on the Madrid Principles.