"As Armenians and Azerbaijanis are finally trying to build a lasting peace, autonomy can be a powerful tool that brings people together instead of dividing them. It is important to give it a chance", argues Kamal Makili-Aliyev in this op-ed. "Autonomy is a viable compromise that can lead to a lasting peace when it is implemented carefully and properly, with the aim of bringing the two nations together."
"One good example is the Aland Islands, a Swedish-speaking autonomous region within Finland. That arrangement celebrated its 101st birthday this year as a successful means of bringing Swedes and Finns together politically, culturally, in education and interpersonal relations. Its secret? Carefully thought-out structures for separating powers between the autonomy and the central government, respect for minority rights, and security guarantees in the form of demilitarization (including, no local conscription or military bases) and neutralization (the autonomy cannot participate in wars neither passively, nor actively) of the region."