Critical two months in relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Analysis from Baku
Critical Armenia-Azerbaijan relations
According to statements from Baku and Yerevan, by the end of this year the parties must sign a peace treaty and clarity should be brought to the issues of delimiting state borders and opening regional roads. Will the nations manage to find common ground in just two months?? What happens if an agreement cannot be reached? Situation analysis from the South Caucasus Research Center based in Baku.
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The South Caucasian Research Center (CSSC) in its regular analytical presentation examines the current situation in the region. In a little over two months before the end of 2022, official Baku and Yerevan should come to a common denominator on the most crucial issues in relations between the two countries. This, at least, is the prognostication of officials in Azerbaijan and Armenia.
“A meeting between the foreign ministers of the two countries will soon take place, and after that the working groups on the preparation of a peace treaty will work continuously,” Aliyev said in an interview with journalists.
“The fact that these processes should be completed within two months speaks of the intensive work on the peace treaty,” the CSSC report notes.
The 1,000km border between Armenia and Azerbaijan remains undefined, Hikmet Hajiyev, assistant to the President of Azerbaijan, said.
“During the talks in Washington, Azerbaijan focused on the delimitation of borders without any preconditions and using the “correct methodology”.”
In talks between Hajiyev and Grigoryan, with the participation of the US presidential adviser on national security issues Sullivan, Azerbaijan also raised the problem of seven villages in the Gazakh region and one village in the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic, still under the control of Armenia.
According to the text of the agreement circulated on social networks after the meeting in Washington on September 27, the delimitation process, which will be carried out by commissions from both sides, should run in parallel with the peace treaty process and be completed before the end of this year.
At the summit in Prague, Armenia announced its agreement to deploy a civilian mission of the European Union on the border with Azerbaijan. Official Baku did not agree with the proposal of the mission to work on its territory, but agreed to cooperate with it to the extent that it would be relevant to Azerbaijan.
This mission consists of forty people. According to the head of the European Council, Charles Michel, the purpose of the mission is to prepare reports that will create a climate of trust between the parties and facilitate the work of delimitation commissions. This mission will also last two months.
“Most likely, in two months Armenia will try to extend the term of the mission. Despite the steps taken in this direction by Yerevan, Baku will cooperate with the EU mission for two months.
As you can see, this mission will also complete its work before the end of this year,” the CSSC emphasizes.
Armenia has not yet offered Azerbaijan a road that would connect the main part of the country with its exclave, the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic, Ilham Aliyev said in an interview with local TV.
Azerbaijan insists on the construction of the Zangezur corridor, which will have the same status as the Lachin corridor connecting Armenia with Khankendi (Stepanakert), analysts write:
“The fact that Armenia is not fulfilling this condition of the tripartite statement of November 10, 2020, Aliyev also mentioned during the summit of the heads of the CIS countries in Astana.
But the fact that Aliyev did not talk about the railway indicates possible agreement on this issue.”
Probability of new clashes between the parties
“Thus, by the end of 2022, on the basis of the five basic principles proposed by Azerbaijan, the issues of a peace treaty, delimitation of borders and opening of transport should be resolved.
On the issue of the complete withdrawal of the remnants of the Armenian armed forces from the part of Karabakh where Russian peacekeepers are stationed, Azerbaijan is still showing patience.
But if these processes are not resolved within the next two months, Azerbaijan will most likely begin to take measures in all areas, which President Aliyev hinted at in his recent speeches.
These measures may include taking control of the road connecting Armenia with Khankendi (Stepanakert) by the Azerbaijani army, as well as the liberation of eight enclaves remaining under Armenian control,” the CSSC noted.
Critical Armenia-Azerbaijan relations