BAKU, Azerbaijan, Jan.12
The liberation of Azerbaijan’s occupied territories, Azerbaijan’s official recognition of the conflict as “resolved” and Armenia’s agreement to the re-establishment of the state borders as these were during the Soviet times raises hopes to restart commercial, societal and diplomatic relations and will play a leading role in the establishment of Pax-Caucasia, Vasif Huseynov, a senior adviser at the Center of Analysis of International Relations of Azerbaijan wrote in an article to Euractiv.
Huseynov noted that in the late 1990s, there were proposals to build the pact on the basis of a 3+3+2 agreement (i.e., Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia + Russia, Iran and Turkey + US and EU) and include security and conflict resolution issues along with economic cooperation and democratic reforms.
The author noted that however, in spite of this consensus on the necessity of establishment of a pact on peace, security and stability in the South Caucasus, there was a major deterrent which was not possible to overcome at the time. The sides, unfortunately, failed to deliver a breakthrough in the settlement of the Armenia – Azerbaijan conflict. For Azerbaijan, it was unacceptable to build any kind of relations with Armenia as long as 20 percent of the country’s internationally recognized territories remained under its illegal occupation.
In this context, the author emphasized that the 10 November 2020 trilateral statement of the leaders of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia in the wake of the Second Karabakh War has put an end to the occupation of Azerbaijani territories and as such opened a window of opportunity to realize those peace initiatives of former regional leaders.
The resolution of this conflict and the call of the trilateral statement for opening all transport and communication links in the region is indeed a unique chance to set in motion a virtuous circle of economic, political and societal developments, the author said.
“Although the revanchist political groups currently prevail in post-war Armenia calling for rapid (re)armament and preparation for a new war against Azerbaijan, there are a few politicians who do not rule out Armenia’s participation in the peace platform. For example, Babken Tunyan, the head of an Armenian parliament committee on economic issues from the parliamentary majority My Step alliance, notes that “If participation in any platform corresponds to [Armenia’s] interests, then it should participate”,” the author said.