Opinion from Baku: What do Georgian representatives’ visits to Shusha mean?
In April 2022, culture representatives from Georgia visited Shusha, and today Georgian religious figures arrived in Azerbaijan and will also visit this city, which returned under the control of Baku as a result of the second Karabakh war. And on May 22, a joint meeting of the Georgian, Turkish and Azerbaijani MPs will be held in Shusha. What is the reason for such interest of Georgian representatives to Shusha?
- Legendary city 30 years later: a trip to Karabakh
- Baku, Yerevan react to celebration of 30th anniversary of Azerbaijan’s UN accession in Shusha
- Representatives of OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries refuse to visit Shusha
What’s going on in Shusha?
Shusha returned under the control of Azerbaijan on November 8, 2020, a day before the end of the second Karabakh war. November 8 has since been declared Victory Day in Azerbaijan.
Seven historical monuments have already been restored in the city, Aidyn Karimov, special representative of the President of Azerbaijan in the Shusha region, said.
He noted that the general plan of the city of Shusha has been prepared, 20,000-25,000 people will live there. It is planned to build 24 residential buildings for them in the city.
Last week Shusha hosted the 5th International Folk Music Festival, which was attended by musicians from different countries.
Cultural figures and bloggers from Georgia in Shusha
In mid-April 2022, a delegation of Georgian cultural figures, ecologists, Turkologists and bloggers visited Shusha.
During the trip, the delegation visited the central square of the city and the fortress walls of Shusha galasy, Dzhydir Duzu.
They also got acquainted with the restored complex of the museum-mausoleum of the Azerbaijani poet and public figure Molla Panah Vagif and visited the house-museum of Bulbul. Here, Georgian performers sang several Azerbaijani folk songs.
The Georgian delegation also visited Fizuli, Jabrayil and Aghdam – cities that returned to Azerbaijan’s control as a result of the second Karabakh war.
Georgian religious figures and MPs in Shusha
On May 19, 2022, a delegation of Georgian religious figures arrived in Azerbaijan.
According to local sources, during the visit, a number of official meetings will be held, as well as visits to Ganja, Fizuli, Aghdam and Shusha.
And on May 22, a joint meeting of the foreign relations committees of the parliaments of Georgia, Turkey and Azerbaijan will be held in Shusha.
The joint meeting of the MPs of the three countries in Shusha aims to expand trilateral cooperation between Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan at the legislative level, political analyst Agshin Karimov said.
“Throughout the Karabakh conflict, Georgia supported the position of Azerbaijan, but occasionally we saw other aspirations that go beyond this line. Despite all this, Azerbaijan’s relations with Georgia have maintained their level of strategic partnership and have reached a noticeable development.
Georgia’s relations with Armenia are friendly at first sight. But these countries are also rivals due to background issues rich in ethnic elements. At times, the region in southwestern Georgia, which is a territory densely populated by the Armenian population, makes threats and statements that affect the Georgian cultural heritage.
The common interests of Azerbaijan, Turkey and Georgia in the region are aimed at transferring the Armenian factor to a constructive position. But at the same time, Georgia’s relations with Armenia are developing in a different direction than the relations of this country with Azerbaijan and Turkey.
I do not think that the participation of Georgian parliamentarians at the joint meeting in Shusha will provoke a harsh reaction from Yerevan.
Turkey is trying to protect Georgia from Russian influence, but what scenarios will be used to do this is still unknown.
Georgia is an important transit country both for Azerbaijan and Turkey, and Tbilisi participates in almost all joint economic projects of Baku and Ankara.
Georgia’s security as a transit country for Azerbaijan and Turkey is of regional security importance. These three countries have conducted and are planning to conduct joint military exercises, which is undoubtedly a message to the regional states.
The joint meeting at the level of committees of the parliaments of the three countries is also an announcement of trilateral cooperation in the new realities. That is why the choice of the city of Shusha as the venue for this meeting is not accidental”.