Armenia-Azerbaijan: leaders meet President Michel and agree to work towards peace treaty

Published in World
Friday, 08 April 2022 11:21

European Council President Charles Michel yesterday hosted the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, and the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia, Nikol Pashinyan, for a continuation of their discussions on the situation in the South Caucasus region and the development of EU relations with both countries.

President Michel reiterated the EU’s commitment to deepen its cooperation with Armenia and Azerbaijan to work closely in overcoming tensions and promote a South Caucasus that is secure, stable, peaceful and prosperous for the benefit of all people living in the region.

The leaders took stock of developments since their last meeting in Brussels in December 2021 and their videoconference, together with President Macron, in February 2022. They reviewed progress on the implementation of undertaken commitments and discussed recent tensions.

President Michel emphasised the importance of humanitarian gestures by both sides to promote confidence and peaceful coexistence. He stressed the need for the full and speedy resolution of all outstanding humanitarian issues, including the release of remaining detainees and comprehensively addressing the issue of missing persons, and stated that the EU is ready to support this endeavour. The EU will likewise continue to support confidence building measures between Azerbaijan and Armenia as well as humanitarian de-mining efforts, including by continuing to provide expert advice and stepping up financial assistance, and assistance to conflict-affected populations, rehabilitation and reconstruction.

President Michel noted both President Aliyev’s and Prime Minister Pashinyan’s stated desire to move rapidly towards a peace agreement between their countries. To this end, it was agreed to instruct Ministers of Foreign Affairs to work on the preparation of a future peace treaty, which would address all necessary issues.

The delimitation and demarcation of their bilateral border will be essential; to this end, it was also agreed to convene a Joint Border Commission by the end of April, with a mandate to: 

  1. delimit the bilateral border between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and
  2. ensure a stable security situation along, and in the vicinity of, the borderline.

The leaders also discussed the restoration of communications/connectivity infrastructure between Armenia and Azerbaijan in particular and in the South Caucasus more broadly. President Michel welcomed the steps towards the restoration of railway lines, while encouraging Armenia and Azerbaijan to also find effective solutions for the restoration of road links. The EU is ready to support the development of connectivity links, including in line with its Economic and Investment Plan and by utilising the proposed economic advisory forum to identify common projects.

The leaders agreed to follow-up on outcomes of their meeting and to stay engaged.

Source: https://euneighbourseast.eu/news-and-stories/latest-news/armenia-azerbaijan-leaders-meet-president-michel-and-agree-to-work-towards-peace-treaty/

Meeting with Minister of Digital Development and Transport of the Republic of Azerbaijan

Published in Economics
Tuesday, 05 April 2022 16:40

Irakli Garibashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia met Rashad Nabiyev, Minister of Digital Development and Transport of the Republic of Azerbaijan today.

Meeting was focused on the various directions of cooperation existing between the two countries, including the successful relations within the scope of Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) Railway, Black and Caspian Sea Transport Corridor, Persian Gulf-Black Sea Corridor and Green Ports.

It was noted that coordinated cooperation between the two countries facilitates the attraction of cargo to the Europe-Asia Transport Corridor, which will ultimately make a positive impact on the regional development and long-term prosperity through peace and stability.

According to the Prime Minister of Georgia, the country supports peaceful cooperation in the region of South Caucasus and stands ready to support the regional dialogue on topics of economic, trade and cultural development, etc.

This is the aim of the Peaceful Initiative of the Prime Minister of Georgia, which envisages the establishment of a format of dialogue and cooperation between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

Discussion was also related to the impact of military activities in Ukraine on the overall security environment.

Meeting held at the Government Administration was attended by Rəhman Hümmətov, Deputy Minister of Digital Development and Transport of the Republic of Azerbaijan; H.E. Faig Guliyev, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Azerbaijan to Georgia; Levan Davitashvili, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia.

Press Service of the Government Administration

TELEPHONE CONVERSATION BETWEEN THE PRESIDENT OF TURKMENISTAN AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF AZERBAIJAN

Published in World
Wednesday, 16 March 2022 14:47

On March 15, 2022, a telephone conversation took place between President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev.

In a personal conversation with his colleague, the head of the Turkmen state shared the news that Serdar Berdimuhamedov became the new President of Turkmenistan following the results of the March 12 presidential elections announced today. The Turkmen leader himself intends to continue his active work, but already as the Chairman of the Halk Maslakhaty of the Milli Gengesh of Turkmenistan.

Congratulating on the successful holding of the most important social and political action, which marks a new stage in the development of sovereign Turkmenistan, the head of the friendly state sincerely wished President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov great success in the new political field and expressed confidence that his successor would be a worthy successor to the great achievements of the new historical era.

Thanking for the kind words, the head of the Turkmen state expressed gratitude to the Azerbaijani leader for his great personal contribution to the development of bilateral relations between the two states, as well as for fruitful joint work.

Having wished his colleague good health, long life and every success, the Turkmen leader handed over the handset to the newly elected President of Turkmenistan.

Congratulating the newly elected head of the Turkmen state on his convincing victory in the elections, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan sincerely wished him great success in his work for the benefit of the state and his native people.

Expressing sincere gratitude for the warm congratulations and good wishes on the occasion of his election as head of state, Serdar Berdimuhamedov, for his part, expressed his full readiness to continue the course begun by the previous President of Turkmenistan, including further building up the entire complex of the Turkmen-Azerbaijani partnership in the long term, promoting mutually beneficial joint projects and programs for the benefit of the fraternal peoples of the two countries.

In this regard, the parties expressed mutual confidence that the high level of trust and mutual understanding established in recent years, coupled with the accumulated extensive experience of joint work, will continue to serve as a solid basis for further constructive interaction in all key areas of cooperation, built on a long-term, mutually beneficial basis.

At the end of the telephone conversation, the newly elected President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov and the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan wished each other good health, happiness and further success in their state activities, and peace, progress and prosperity to the fraternal peoples of the two countries.

Ilham Aliyev and President of Turkiye Recep Tayyip Erdogan meet in Ankara

Published in Politics
Thursday, 10 March 2022 16:26

A meeting is being held between President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of the Republic of Turkiye Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara.

President of Turkiye Recep Tayyip Erdogan welcomed President Ilham Aliyev at Cankaya Palace.

The presidents posed together for official photos.

Press service of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan

 

Minister of Education of the Azerbaijan E. Amrullayev visited Marneuli as part of his official visit to Georgia

Published in Education
Tuesday, 22 February 2022 13:28
Minister of Education of the Republic of Azerbaijan Emin Amrullayev visited Marneuli as part of his official visit to Georgia. The Minister visited the Integration Center of Azerbaijanis of Georgia (GAIM).
Executive Director Orkhan Pirverdiyev gave detailed information to the minister about the activities of the center. And. Amrullayev got acquainted with the classrooms of GAIM and met with the teachers and students. Faig Guliyev, the extraordinary and authoritative ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan to Georgia, also participated in the meeting with the Minister.
During the meeting, the Ambassador of Azerbaijan to Georgia Faig Guliyev said that President Ilham Aliyev always keeps the social situation of Azerbaijanis living in Georgia in attention and in this direction, the joint part between the relevant organizations of both countries It's taken away.
Minister Emin Amrullayev also noted that the problems of Azerbaijani schools operating in Georgia are kept in mind. It has been stated that the Georgian and Azerbaijani people have historically lived in peace and friendship conditions and friendly relations are the common value of both countries. "It is normal to have issues among friends to discuss. After independence was achieved, it was important to discuss issues under a new angle," the minister said.
 
Integration Center for Azerbaijanis of Georgia

Phone Conversation with Azerbaijani Prime Minister

Published in Politics
Monday, 14 February 2022 16:56

Prime Ministers of Georgia and Azerbaijan held a phone conversation today.
Irakli Garibashvili and Ali Asadov highlighted the strategic partnership existing between the two countries and the positive trend of bilateral cooperation advancing in various directions. Significance of regional projects was underlined during the telephone conversation, as they were implemented with joint engagement of Azerbaijan and Georgia.
Dignitaries confirmed their readiness to further deepen and advance the mutually-beneficial cooperation.
The Prime Minister of the Republic of Azerbaijan expressed solidarity to the Head of Government of Georgia in relation to the earthquake occurring last night, which was responded with gratitude from Irakli Garibashvili.

Press Service of the Government Administration

A MEETING OF THE JOINT WORKING GROUP ON THE DEVELOPMENT AND APPROVAL OF AN AGREEMENT ON THE DOSTLUK FIELD IN THE CASPIAN SEA WAS HELD

Published in Economics
Friday, 28 January 2022 11:54

Today, on January 27, the fourth meeting of the Joint Working Group was held to develop and approve an agreement between the Government of Turkmenistan and the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan on joint exploration, elaboration and development of hydrocarbon resources of the Dostluk field in the Caspian Sea.

Members of the Working Group from the Turkmen and Azerbaijani sides attended the meeting that was held online.

During the meeting, the co-chairs of the Working Group made speeches, relevant information from the leaders of the Expert Groups was heard, and the draft protocol of the 4th meeting of the Joint Working Group was discussed.

The speakers noted with satisfaction the progress achieved in the joint work of the parties. As part of today's discussions, the parties also reached an understanding on the soonest agreement on the relevant annexes of the Joint Agreement.

Expert groups were instructed to intensify work on the preparation and approval of draft relevant documents affecting the interests of a potential contractor-investor.

Following the result of the meeting, the Protocol was signed.

 

Charles Michel calls Azerbaijan and Armenia for urgent de-escalation and full ceasefire

Published in World
Wednesday, 17 November 2021 16:41

On 16 November, President of the European Council Charles Michel called on Azerbaijan and Armenia for urgent de-escalation and full ceasefire following a new escalation of the situation in Nagorno Karabakh.

Michel had two separate phone calls with Prime Minister of Armenia, Nikol Pashinyan, and with President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev.

“Challenging situation in region – EU is committed to work with partners to overcome tensions for a prosperous and stable South Caucasus,” President Michel said on Twitter.

 

The opening ceremony of the "VICTORY CUP" mini-football tournament

Published in Sport
Tuesday, 26 October 2021 09:49

The opening ceremony of the "VICTORY CUP" mini-football tournament dedicated to the first anniversary of the 44-day Patriotic War was held in Tbilisi.

The football tournament was organized by Azerbaijani Business Association in Georgia (AZEBI) in partnership with the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan and SOCAR Georgia.

Embassy of Azerbaijan in Georgia

 

South Caucasus in the new geopolitical realities

Published in Economics
Wednesday, 20 October 2021 10:00

By Zaal Anjaparidze

While foreign policy identities so significantly diverge in the South Caucasus (SC), there is one key common denominator that ties the regional counties together – the interconnectedness of security risks. Those risks together with the opportunities have become more visible and tangible after the latest 44-day war in Karabakh, which entailed new geopolitical realities in the region. What is worth noting part of the risks and opportunities for SC countries largely emanate from the immediate neighborhood.  On the other hand, the interconnected and interdependent nature of security in the SC goes beyond its neighborhood, because each country - Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan has its own complex and multilayered geopolitical identity. 

In this context, the initiative of a six-nation cooperation platform comprising Turkey, Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Armenia initiated by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in December 2020, shortly after the end of the war over the disputed Karabakh created a window of opportunity for permanent peace, stability, and cooperation in the region. At the same time, the initiative has stumbled over the existing contradictions between some of the named member-states. The exemplary case was the statement by Georgia’s Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani that albeit Tbilisi finds it “very hard” to join the “3+3 platform,” the country should still seek ways to engage in the prospective infrastructure projects in the region. His statement was promptly disavowed by the other Georgian officials. They underlined that Georgia will not join “3+3 format” because of the presence of Russia with whom Georgia disrupted diplomatic relations after the Russian-Georgian war in 2008 and occupation of Georgia’s secessionist regions by Russia after recognition of their state independence. Georgian Foreign Ministry claimed that the engagement of Georgia in the major geopolitical projects should not be undertaken at the expense of national interests and concessions to the occupier country (Russia).

While Russia-leaning groups in Georgia support “3+3” platform arguing that Georgia must pursue pragmatic and realistic politics reckoning with its neighborhood and geopolitical environment, pro-western forces vehemently oppose it. They consider the engagement of Georgia, the sole ally of the West, in the “3+3” platform where the EU and USA are absent will definitely result in damaged relations with the western partners. Besides, opponents of “3+3” platform argue that Georgia and Armenia will be in this alliance rather as “junior partners” than equitable members as compared to more powerful Russia, Turkey, Iran, and Azerbaijan.

It’s worth noting that recently Russia has decided to revitalize “3+3 format.” Most likely Moscow did so either to pursue its own interests and gain more dominance in the region, or play along with Turkey in order to prevent attempts of the West to reclaim the ground in the region that it has lost after the second war in Karabakh.

However, it’s still unclear how and whether “3+3” format will be able to keep the mutually acceptable balance of political, military and economic interests. The attitude of Iran is exemplary in this context. If the geopolitical order in the South Caucasus before the second war in Karabakh has been relatively acceptable for Tehran, nowadays the situation is different. Iran is sending clear signals to Azerbaijan and Turkey about the unacceptability of the changed geopolitical reality in the region. Thus, Tehran is going to play a more proactive role in the formation of the new rules of the game in South Caucasus and not only politically. Iran has already has announced an agreement between Iran and Armenia for establishing a new alternative transit route for Iranian trucks bypassing the Azerbaijan-controlled 20-km section, where the trucks are required to pay tolls. The northern part of the route will go through Georgia. Like Tehran, Moscow is also not happy with the excessive strengthening of the role of Turkey and Azerbaijan in the region.

However, whatever the plans of the initiators of “3+3,” the initiative largely remains declarative, so far and there are no tangible indicators that it will be “fleshed out” in the near future.  Geopolitical contradictions between the key players of the “3+3” format – Russia, Turkey, and Iran, the persisting confrontation between Azerbaijan and Armenia and standalone Georgia, with its pro-western stance, make materialization of “3+3” even more uncertain

Despite various speculations, today the normalization of relations between Turkey and Armenia seems more realistic because the second war in Karabakh has changed a lot from the geopolitical and geo-economical points of view. Presumably, reckoning with these new realities Armenia perceives the situation in the more realistic prism. Improvement of relations with Turkey, including the opening of borders and new transport communications are the tools that could relieve long-term bilateral confrontation and contribute to peace in the region.   

Georgia lacks official military-political allies in difference from Armenia and Azerbaijan. Strengthening the influence of Russia and Turkey around Georgia with the weakening influence of the West in the region leaves Georgia in a vulnerable position. This affects Georgia’s role as a transit country and may leave it on the margins of anticipated grand regional projects.

Russia and Turkey are highly likely to do their best to lure Georgia somehow into the “3+3” platform and persuade Armenia to join the platform despite persisting tensions with Azerbaijan.

It appears that Tbilisi and Yerevan must decide whether the benefits of joining “3+3” in any form will overweigh geopolitical risks. These risks are far greater for Georgia because joining “3+3” may significantly damage its relations with the West. These relations are already strained due to the latest political developments in the country highly criticized by the West.

Fragile peace after the armistice in Karabakh supported by Russian peacekeepers and the Turkish military observers revealed a tangle of problems waiting for settlement. Currently the most notable are the continued tensions between Azerbaijan and Armenia manifested in the armed clashes at times and increasing tensions between Azerbaijan and Iran. The latter considers itself unfairly outflanked during the peace talks on the resolution of the latest Armenian-Azerbaijani armed conflict.

By repeated but still less successful attempts to act as a mediator in the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict Georgia is highly likely aiming at finding its unique niche in the new geopolitical realities. However, subdued reactions from Baku and Yerevan indicate that none of them is in the mood to see Georgia as a key mediator given the Russian and Turkish factors.  Georgia, which perhaps has more at stake in peace between Azerbaijan and Armenia than does any other third country, has ample reason for concerns over the actions of Turkey to say nothing about Russia. Ankara’s new geopolitical assertiveness is a wild card with unpredictable implications for Tbilisi. Possible Turkish-Armenian reconciliation will enhance Armenia’s regional role and will offer the latter a better bargaining position with Georgia with the attendant consequences.

CONCLUSION

The complex geopolitical theatre of the South Caucasus exerts significant influence on the foreign policy identities of the region’s countries. Intra-regional conflicts make the region highly exposed to the influences of its larger neighbors, which play a significant role in shaping the regional security dynamics.

At the same time, membership within or orientation towards the conflicting alliances strengthens intra-regional rifts, further decreasing the chances of peaceful conflict resolution in the region. To this end, “3+3” platform can be considered as one of the possible but not an ideal tool for keeping a relative balance of powers and interests of the key regional players. But the attempt to supplant the West as a non-regional player, is fraught with risks given the strategic interests of the latter in the regions.

Despite the strong divergence in foreign policy and alliance choices of the three South Caucasus states, strategic multilateral partnerships within the region and with the region’s immediate neighbors, appear to be the best possible option to transform fragile stability into a lasting cooperation framework, which in turn is a path to sustainable peace. However, existing tensions between Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia on the delimitation and demarcation of state borders, as well as ownership of historical-cultural monuments in the disputed border areas, don’t contribute to the development of full-fledged partnership.

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