“Perhaps a document will be signed in Brussels” - why EU Special Representative visits South Caucasus
Purpose of Toivo Klaar’s visit
The EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus is in Yerevan, from where he will leave for Baku. The purpose of the visit is to organize a meeting between the Secretary of the Security Council of Armenia Armen Grigoryan and the Advisor to the President of Azerbaijan on international relations Hikmet Hajiyev. This assumption was made by the Armenian political scientist Beniamin Poghosyan.
Toivo Klaar arrived in Armenia on July 13 and met with the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Secretary of the Security Council. According to official reports, the parties discussed the implementation of the agreements reached following the results of the Brussels meetings.
The last time the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan met in Brussels on May 22. This was their third meeting organized by the head of the European Council, Charles Michel. During these negotiations, Nikol Pashinyan and Ilham Aliyev were able to agree on holding the first meeting of the commission on the delimitation of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border.
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“Important meetings” took place in Yerevan, negotiations are expected in Baku
Toivo Klaar announced on his Twitter page that he is in Yerevan on a short visit. “We look forward to important meetings”, he wrote.
The press secretary of the EU Special Representative explained that Klaar would hold meetings first in Yerevan and then in Baku. The European side reported that the agenda of the meetings included key issues discussed between the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan in the “Brussels format”.
The meeting of the EU Special Representative with the Prime Minister of Armenia was also attended by the Head of the European Union Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Andrea Wiktorin.
During the meeting, the following was reportedly discussed:
- recent developments in the South Caucasus;
- the situation around Nagorno-Karabakh;
- steps to ensure peace and stability.
“An exchange of views took place on the results of the trilateral meetings held in Sochi with the mediation of the President of the Russian Federation and in Brussels with the mediation of the President of the European Council, as well as the implementation of the agreements reached. […] The process of normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations was also touched upon”, reads a statement on the official website of the Armenian prime minister.
Deputy Prime Minister Mher Grigoryan, and Secretary of the Security Council Armen Grigoryan also met with Toivo Klaar and Andrea Wiktorin. It is reported that the entire agenda of Armenian-Azerbaijani relations was discussed.
Political scientist Benyamin Poghosyan believes that the purpose of the EU representative’s visit to Yerevan and Baku is to organize regular Armenian-Azerbaijani talks. To begin with, in his opinion, a meeting between the Secretary of the Security Council of Armenia and the Advisor to the President of Azerbaijan on international relations is discussed.
The Grigoryan-Hajiyev meeting was scheduled to take place last month. During an online press conference held at the end of June, the Armenian Prime Minister stated that Baku had canceled the meeting.
According to Nikol Pashinyan, Armenia also proposed a meeting at the level of foreign ministers. However, there was no official response from Baku. The Armenian prime minister suggested that Azerbaijan does not enter into a dialogue, as it intends to legitimize a new war.
Speaking about the unblocking of economic and transport communications in the region, Pashinyan stressed that “Azerbaijan is trying to resolve the issue in such a way that Armenia remains in the blockade”.
The political scientist suggests that the meeting between Grigoryan and Hajiyev will most likely be followed by another meeting between Pashinyan and Aliyev in Brussels. And, in his opinion, “already more or less clarified issues” will be brought to the table.
He believes that the issue of unblocking regional communications will be discussed at the upcoming meeting in Brussels.
The political scientist does not rule out that the parties will reach a final agreement and sign the document.
“The routes, the procedure for crossing [the border], the implementation of border and customs control, who will carry it out will be determined”, Benyamin Poghosyan believes.
During an online press conference on June 27, Prime Minister Pashinyan stated that the choice of routes is small, with a maximum of five options to be discussed. Moreover, in his opinion, Baku is trying to politicize this technical issue.
The political scientist also considers it possible to reach specific agreements on the work of the commission on the delimitation of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border and on holding meetings. However, it does not imply progress and advances on the issue of signing a peace treaty, at least not in the near future.
Purpose of Toivo Klaar’s visit