Prague Summit: New hope for the normalization process between Armenia and Azerbaijan

Prague Summit: New hope for the normalization process between Armenia and Azerbaijan

In a new four-way mediation effort to resolve the standoff between Yerevan and Baku, the parties announced on Thursday (October 6) that the EU had signed a ” civilian missionin Armenia to help demarcate borders with Azerbaijan.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, French President Emmanuel Macron and European Council President Charles Michel met twice for several hours late Thursday through Friday on the sidelines of the first European Political Community Summit in Prague.

According to a joint statement issued after the talks, Armenia has agreed to facilitate the establishment of a civilian EU mission along the border with Azerbaijan, which has agreed to cooperate with that mission.

This starts in October for a maximum of two months with the goal build trust and contribute to boundary commissions‘ adds the press release.

According to the joint statement, Armenia and Azerbaijan also reaffirmed their commitment to the UN Charter and “ the 1991 Declaration of Alma Ata, in which both countries recognize the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the other».

The announcement came days after the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan met for talks in Geneva to begin drafting the text of a future peace treaty.

Alma Ata or Almaty was then the capital of Kazakhstan. The 1991 Treaty of Alma Ata established the principles of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), including the recognition of and respect for one another’s territorial integrity and the inviolability of existing borders. However, the Alma Ata Treaty did not prevent a full-scale conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh in the winter of 1992. The conflict has not been resolved since then.

Last month, Yerevan and Baku accused each other of breaking the ceasefire between the warring nations. Indeed, at least 286 people were killed on both sides before a US-brokered ceasefire ended the worst clashes since 2020, as simmering tensions escalated into an all-out war.

a process” accelerated»

The four-way talks on the edge of the summit were also his most notable photo opportunity. This summit is a new consultative forum bringing together 44 European leaders to discuss peace and prosperity on the continent.

The EU has repeatedly tried to step into the diplomatic breach by presenting itself as a mediator.

The EU needs stability in the South Caucasus, a region that has become particularly important in the context of the conflict with Russia. The EU needs gas supplies from Azerbaijan and relies on a ” corridor centralconnects Asia with the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea.

In August, Brussels hosted a trilateral meeting with Mr Pashinyan and Mr Aliyev to discuss how to avoid future clashes. Mr Michel announced that a meeting between the border authorities would take place in November.

However, in the absence of a significant EU presence on the ground, it was unable to enforce the terms of the ceasefire.

EU diplomats said they had ” cautious hopeTo see progress in the normalization process between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Emmanuel Macron, looking engrossed and tense, tweeted a picture of the four leaders gathered around a table with the comment: ” for a lasting peace in the Caucasus».

After the meeting, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev told reporters in his country that the peace process with Armenia ” has now been accelerated».

Mr. Aliyev also said that the foreign ministers of the two countries would meet again. soon».

«We suggested that the working groups of the two countries meet and work on the drafting of the text of the peace agreement for a few days. That is our intention‘ he is said to have said.

Approaching Turkey?

Armenia viewed Russia as the key ally capable of guaranteeing its precarious security through the Moscow-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), which operates a military base in Armenia and acts as a security broker in the region.

But Russia has visibly lost its influence in the region after turning its attention to Ukraine.

Turkey, meanwhile, is a key supporter of Azerbaijan. Conversely, Iran is striving for a rapprochement with Armenia.

In Prague, leaders of Turkey and Armenia met for the first time since they agreed last year to mend ties after decades of hostility.

The two countries have not had any formal diplomatic or trade relations since the 1990s.

In January they held the first round of talks in over 10 years and called them “positive and constructiveand raise the prospect of restoring relations and reopening borders.

This latest move is the first attempt to restore ties between Turkey and Armenia since a never-ratified 2009 peace deal.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, after meeting with Armenian Mr Pashinyan, stated that hesincerely believethat the two countries fully normalize relations on the basis of “good neighborly relations».

Reference: www.euractiv.fr

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