"EU must convince Armenians that a peace treaty with Baku will lead them to economic development"
    Five Georgian experts comment on Brussels-3

    Tamilla Mammadova

    INTERVIEWS - 24 May 2022 - 17:05

    The third meeting of the leaders of Azerbaijan, the Council of the European Union, and Armenia was held on 22 May in Brussels. Ilham Aliyev, Charles Michel, and Nikol Pashinyan continued discussions on the normalization of relations between Baku and Yerevan. The final statement of the president of the Council of the European Union does not mention "Nagorno-Karabakh" and the "people of Nagorno-Karabakh" invented by the Armenian side, which is referred to as the "ethnic Armenian population".

    The editorial staff of Caliber.Az asked Georgian experts to share their opinions on this issue.

    According to the professor of Sukhumi University, the Georgian political scientist Temur Chilachava, the Azerbaijani side acts consistently in the politically correct direction.

    "It is difficult for the Armenian side represented by Pashinyan to be consistent. The sword of Damocles of Moscow and Pashinyan's opposition, organized by Moscow, hangs over him all the time.

    I think that Baku and Brussels should understand that it is hard for Pashinyan to make a quick and fundamental solution because of his relatively precarious position. It is necessary to move slowly, but in the right direction, taking into account the likelihood of a weakening of Russia's political weight against the background of military operations in Ukraine. The Armenian people should understand that only the normalization of relations with Azerbaijan and political orientation towards Europe is the only way to preserve stability and economic development in Armenia.

    It is important to understand that a large part of the Armenian population is probably worried about Russia's falling out of the negotiation process and thinks that the EU is siding with Baku. But this is not the case. Brussels needs long-term peace in the South Caucasus, which is impossible without an agreement between Baku and Yerevan. The EU must convince the Armenians that a peace agreement between Baku and Yerevan will lead to economic development, including Armenia, as the EU is likely to contribute to this through large investment projects," Chilachava said.

    Georgian politician and member of the Political Council of the United Georgia Party Anzor Bitsadze notes the great importance of the dialogue which is held between Baku and Yerevan.

    "It is particularly important when negotiations are held with the participation of high-ranking European leaders. I have repeatedly stressed that peace between Azerbaijan and Armenia is important not only for these states but also for Georgia and the Caucasus region as a whole. Especially now, with the huge turbulence not only in the region but also in the whole world.

    I have closely followed the information about the meeting in Brussels, and I believe that the issues on which agreements were reached and on which the relevant working groups will continue to work are matters of principle significance. It is very important that an agreement was reached between the two presidents on the principles of border management, security, transportation, and communications. Issues related to the protection of the rights of the ethnic Armenian population also caught my attention. Charles Michel's wording is almost the same as that of Azerbaijan. And I am absolutely sure that the rights of the ethnic Armenian population will always be respected and protected, as it is in the interests of the Azerbaijani state," Bitsadze believes.

    According to Doctor of History of Sukhumi State University, Omar Ardashelia, the results of the meeting in Brussels turned out to be positive for representatives of the two states.

    "Undoubtedly, everyone is interested in what the security clause for the ethnic Armenian population in Karabakh looks like. For Armenians, this is a very significant issue. I am sure that the Azerbaijani side will do everything possible to provide them with such guarantees.

    The EU will adhere to the opinion that presenting such commitments will enable a gradual resolution of those tense relations that still exist between Azerbaijan and Armenia. The main issue here is the signing of a peace treaty, and then all international guarantees can be given to the Armenian side. After that, the Armenian side will feel more confident, and Baku, I am sure, will fulfil all its obligations," Ardashelia said.

    Georgian analyst, retired State Security Colonel David Kartvelishvili believes that the peoples of Azerbaijan and Armenia are not an exception in terms of thirst for peace and stability against the background of the pandemic and the ongoing military-political clashes that also affect the South Caucasus region.

    "Azerbaijan and Armenia today offer the world a unique experience - how after decades of enmity and military clashes it is possible to overcome the mutual historical and political mistakes of the past for the sake of life and the future of younger generations. The next round of trilateral meetings was also demonstrative. It showed the wisdom of Baku's policy on the liberated Azerbaijani territories. Today, mankind misses peace and stability and needs them more than ever.

    Everything that can hinder their achievement must either be put aside or be erased from memory altogether. People of different nationalities, even if they have been at enmity with each other for years, today are obliged to build peace bridges within the territorial limits officially recognized by the international community," Kartvelishvili added.

    According to retired Georgian brigadier general, and political-military analyst Amiran Salukvadze, it's been just over a year and a half since the 44-day war and the signing of the ceasefire agreement.

    "Complicated internal political processes are taking place in Armenia today, people are speaking out against Nikol Pashinyan, so everything depends on how the negotiations between the heads of the two states will take place. But the process itself will not be fast, I mean the preparation of a peace agreement.

    As for Charles Michel's position, the EU supports the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. I hope the negotiation process will continue, which is an important factor for all South Caucasian states," Salukvadze said.


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