Azerbaijan has strength and diplomacy to make peace with Armenia directly
    No need for mediators

    INTERVIEWS  21 February 2024 - 17:56

    Vadim Mansurov

    The meeting between the leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference was the final confirmation of Baku's choice of the direct negotiation format. In fact, Azerbaijan excluded Armenia's "sister" France from the negotiations. In other words, Azerbaijan managed to break the vicious practice of imposing moderators and intermediaries.

    In an interview with Caliber.Az, political scientist Rasim Musabekov recalled that Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev clearly outlined Baku's position on this issue at his inauguration.

    "Baku does not need a mediator to normalise relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia. The Karabakh conflict is over, closed, consigned to history. And bilateral relations will be realised only in the format of bilateral negotiations - this concerns everybody, including Macron. Macron knows very well that the Azerbaijani president simply does not want to talk to him. German Chancellor Scholz did not try to mediate either, he just made an initiative. So goodbye, Macron, go deal with Africa or the Normandy format, where France and Germany as mediators have their obligations towards Ukraine.

    Even Russian mediation is out of the question, although Russia has a lot in common with our country both geographically and historically. And I think the most important thing is that Armenia has already realised this: if you want results, build normal relations with Azerbaijan directly, not through backstage games," Musabekov said.

    Macron's absence from Munich was also mentioned by our interlocutor. According to Musabekov, the stagnation of Macron's domestic politics is the reason why the French president did not attend the Munich Security Conference. Macron's party's rating has hit the lowest, while Marine Le Pen's party is set to win the European Parliament elections, according to opinion polls.

    "Not least because Macron has formed his government from, to put it mildly, an extremely diverse, inexperienced, rainbow-coloured liberal milieu that is more concerned with itself than realpolitik. Macron cannot even leave such useless politicians alone for long. All this ties his hands when it comes to foreign visits," Musabekov said.

    According to German political analyst Alexander Rahr, a senior researcher at the Institute for World Trends (Potsdam), the original plan was to sign a new EU "military treaty" with Ukraine in the presence of Macron, Scholz and Tusk. But Scholz reportedly declined at the last minute.

    "In order not to further provoke Russia, the US is on the retreat, and without it, Europe is too weak to be at war with Russia. That is why Macron stayed in Paris," the political analyst believes.

    As for the direct talks between the leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia, it is a sign that Baku no longer needs mediators.

    "Ilham Aliyev seems to be firmly convinced that Western mediators have started to help Armenia. But Azerbaijan is not going to back down and believes it has enough strength and diplomatic options to make peace with Armenia directly, without mediators. And by all appearances, this move should be very effective," Rahr concluded.


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