"Azerbaijan is standing its ground"
    Alexei Naumov comments on the outcome of the Munich meetings

    INTERVIEWS  21 February 2023 - 16:17

    Huseyn Safarov

    A trilateral meeting between Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken was held in the margins of the Munich Security Conference on February 18.

    During the meeting, the sides discussed the drafting of a peace treaty between Azerbaijan and Armenia, as well as the unblocking of regional transport infrastructures and the implementation of delimitation between the two countries in accordance with the agreements reached in Prague.

    The authoritative international conference also included a panel discussion on the situation in the South Caucasus - "Moving Mountains? Building Security in the South Caucasus". The session was moderated by the Chairman of the Munich Security Conference, Christoph Heusgen, and was attended by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and OSCE Secretary General and Deputy Chairman of the Munich Security Conference Council Helga Maria Schmid.

    Commenting on the outcome of the Munich meetings in a conversation with Caliber.Az, Aleksei Naumov, an expert at the Russian Council on Foreign Affairs, stressed that Azerbaijan was "standing its ground".

    "The main result of the meeting between Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan under the American mediation is that Baku has once again demonstrated the steadfastness of the vector aimed at the settlement. It is a vector in which Azerbaijan defines policy and Armenia is forced to agree and accept the realities. From the outset, Baku's policy was built on the premise that the inevitable and only possible solution to the conflict within the framework of international law and justice was the return to Azerbaijan of the occupied territories and the integration of local Armenians or their departure from Karabakh territory. Azerbaijan has demonstrated this through both military and diplomatic measures," said the Russian political analyst.

    Moreover, according to Naumov, Ilham Aliyev "played a leading part at the Munich talks".

    "The Azerbaijani head of state outlined the main issue. He ruled out the Karabakh issue being mentioned in the peace treaty. As Aliyev said, 'we cannot allow the Karabakh issue to be included in any form in the peace agreement to be signed by Azerbaijan and Armenia'.

    There was certainly no sensation at the talks, but we saw that Azerbaijan continues to intelligently use foreign policy tools - both military and diplomatic. Yerevan is regularly shown that if it tries to drag out the settlement process, it will only make things worse for itself," our interlocutor said.

    In conclusion, Naumov added that Azerbaijan feels confident in the venues chosen by Armenia.

    "While Armenia is frantically looking for new partners and counterparties to support its aspirations and the Karabakh separatists, Azerbaijan continues to push through the same position, and in the venues that Armenia chooses. Yerevan engages the EU and America, but Baku also defends its point of view through Western mediators. This is a demonstration of the indomitability and firmness of Azerbaijan's foreign policy course, which is steadily moving towards its goals," Naumov summed up.


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