At the outset of the Karabakh conflict, the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast / Nagorno-Karabakh Republic was surrounded by regions with Azerbaijani and Kurdish population and had no land border with Armenia.
- 18 May 1992, Armenian forces took Lachin, opening the Lachin corridor for land communications between NKR and Armenia. However, the corridor was under constant threat from Azerbaijani forces who repeatedly tried to cut it. A strong offensive by Armenian forces occurred in 1993, resulting in the securing of further territory to act as a "security zone".
- 27 March 1993, Armenian forces launched an offensive in Kelbajar and by 5 April had completely captured the area of Kalbajar Rayon, creating a strong link between Nagorno Karabakh and Armenia and removing from the Lachin corridor the threat of attack from the north.
- 23 July 1993, after 40 days of fighting, officially known in Armenia as the "suppression of enemy firing points", Agdam was taken. Then followed attack in the south:
- 22 August 1993 Fizuli was taken.
- 25 August 1993 - Jebrail was taken.
- 31 August 1993 - Kubatly was taken.
- 1 November 1993 - Zangelan was taken.
Since then, Armenians have been in control of the entire territory of the former Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast, except for a tiny piece east of Khojavend. In addition, since that time Armenians have controlled all of the territory between the former NKAO to Iran, as well as all of the territory between the former NKAO and Armenia, and some areas to the east surrounding Aghdam. In the north, however, the until 1992 ethnically Armenian Shahumian region, is under the control of Azerbaijan. It was not officially a part of the former NKAO, and though NKR claims it, the Armenians were driven out in 1992 and the Armenian and Azeri forces have been separated on the northern front by the Murovdag mountain chain ever since.
Since 1994, Armenia and Azerbaijan have held talks on the future of the security belt territories. The Nagorno-Karabakh Republic has not been involved in these negotiations because Azerbaijan does not recognize the existence of such parties to the conflict. The Armenian side has offered to act in accordance with the "land for status" formula (returning the territory of the security belt to the control of Azerbaijan in exchange for Azerbaijan recognising of the independence of Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and giving security assurances to the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and the Lachin corridor), Azerbaijan - on a formula "land for peace" (The territory of a security belt back under the control of Azerbaijan in exchange for security guarantees Azerbaijan remain under the control of NKR territories of the former Nagorny Karabakh). Facilitators have also offered, in particular, the "land for status" option (returning the territory of the security belt to the control of Azerbaijan in exchange for guarantees by Azerbaijan to hold at some point a referendum on the status of Nagorno Karabakh). As of 2008, the involved parties have failed to reach any agreement.
Read more about this topic: Armenian-controlled Territories Surrounding Nagorno Karabakh
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