As fighting rages in the Middle East and Ukraine, another conflict-ridden region adjacent to both war zones may be on the precipice of a long-elusive peace. That region is the South Caucasus, where diplomatic efforts are underway between Armenia and Azerbaijan to strike a peace agreement following Azerbaijan’s victory in the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. But the two are not operating in isolation: The conflict involves many of the same external players as both the Israeli-Hamas and Ukrainian conflicts—including Iran, Turkey, Russia, the European Union, and the United States. That makes the pathway to peace a challenging, interconnected road to maneuver.
The road to peace here may be quite literal. On Oct. 26, while at a summit in Tbilisi, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan announced an initiative known as the Crossroads for Peace, which calls for building transport connections to each of Armenia’s neighbors—Georgia, Iran, Turkey, and Azerbaijan. The inclusion of the latter two is most notable, given that it was less than two months previous that Azerbaijan launched military operations to seize Nagorno-Karabakh with Turkey’s support, thus giving Baku complete territorial control over the long-disputed region.