Majority of Azerbaijanis push for peace: What about Armenia?
    It takes two to tango

    INTERVIEWS  10 July 2024 - 15:43

    Samir Ibrahimov

    Taking into account the positive momentum towards a peace agreement between Azerbaijan and Armenia, the Centre for Social Research (CSR, Baku) conducted a survey of the population to elucidate public opinion on this matter.

    According to the polls conducted in June 2024, 83.8 per cent of respondents expressed support for the signing of a peace agreement, while 13.5 per cent opposed it. Additionally, 2.7 per cent of respondents found it difficult to form an opinion on the issue. The survey involved 1152 participants aged 18 and older across 12 regions of Azerbaijan.

    The results underscore a significant positive trend in Azerbaijani public opinion towards peace with Armenia, consistent with previous polls on the subject. The survey period, from June 10-22, 2024, highlighted widespread support across various demographics within Azerbaijani society.

    Foreign experts, engaged by Caliber.Az, tried to access the analogous sentiments within Armenian society amid ongoing peace negotiations.

    Konstantin Bondarenko, head of the Ukrainian Politics Foundation and an analyst, observes that Azerbaijani society is currently focused on the aftermath of their victory and a sense of moral satisfaction.

    "With control restored over Karabakh and Azerbaijan emerging victorious, thoughts naturally turn towards a peace treaty. I don't believe the Azerbaijani leadership harbours sentiments contrary to societal opinion. It's unlikely they seek to prolong the conflict. Therefore, there appears to be a unified stance within Azerbaijani society and its leadership regarding the peace treaty with Armenia," Bondarenko stated.

    He highlights a different challenge concerning Armenia and its readiness for peace.

    "I'm not familiar with poll results from Armenia, but I expect they would significantly differ from those in Azerbaijan. The responsibility for future steps rests with Armenian elites. During challenging times, they should prioritize determination over public opinion, even if it impacts their popularity and stability," Bondarenko concluded.

    Simon Kopadze, Head of the Academy of International Relations and Director General of the Foundation for the Development of Georgian-Azerbaijani Relations, expressed his satisfaction with the overwhelming support for a peace agreement among Azerbaijani society.

    "It's very encouraging that 83 per cent of Azerbaijani society backs the idea of signing a peace agreement, which marks the beginning of a new phase in Armenia-Azerbaijan relations," Kopadze remarked.

    "This will usher in a new era for the entire South Caucasus region. It will enable us to pursue pan-regional economic projects and collaborate on resolving political issues, fostering development across the region," he added.

    Reflecting on the path to peace, Kopadze emphasized the need for both sides to commit to reconciliation.

    "As the saying goes, it takes two to tango. I believe the more hawkish voices in Armenia are gradually reconsidering their stance and realizing the importance of moving forward, signing a peace treaty with Azerbaijan, and nurturing bilateral relations," Kopadze stated.

    However, he acknowledged lingering complexities in the relations, particularly Armenia's insistence on a balance of power.

    "Armenia still advocates for a balance of power, overlooking the significance of collective security in our regional relations. It's crucial that we all prioritize our common interests for the development of our region," Kopadze noted.

    In conclusion, Kopadze affirmed his alignment with the majority sentiment in Azerbaijan.

    "I fully support the opinion of over 80 per cent of Azerbaijani society, advocating for a peace treaty with Armenia," he concluded.




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