New "path" to peace treaties for South Caucasus

Feature 16 June 2022

The Southern Caucasus has always been an active geopolitical area. In most cases, the regional political tensions have been shifted to military actions. Unfortunately, the Karabakh conflict has been a frozen conflict for more than a decade, but artillery shelling and minor skirmishes between Armenian and Azerbaijani troops have still caused hundreds of deaths. 
Despite the fact that, “Patriotic war” by Azerbaijan lasted for six weeks, from late September 2020 to November 2020 has ended the conflict for the region. On 9 November, a Russian-brokered ceasefire declaration was signed, mandating the deployment of some 2,000 Russian peacekeepers to the region, writes Mezahir Efendiyev, member of Millli Majlis of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
After 30 years of uncertainty in Azerbaijan's Karabakh and surrounding territories under Armenia's occupation, the Second Karabakh war created new realities in the region after victory of Azerbaijan and today, South Caucasus rebuilds itself.
For more than a year after the Second Karabakh-Patriotic War, Azerbaijan has repeatedly demonstrated in bilateral and multilateral international meetings on sign for the Great Peace Agreement with a successful foreign policy, as well as the beginning of a period of construction based on new realities in the region.
At the same time, taking into account the challenges of post-war, Azerbaijan's multi-vector foreign policy is once again characterized by the irreversibility of the principles of peace and justice. This process adds to the importance of all the meetings that took place under the leadership of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, the Commander-in-Chief, President Ilham Aliyev.
As a result of Mr. President's meetings and negotiations, a new format emerged in the post-war period.
The next trilateral meeting with the participation of President Ilham Aliyev in 2021, as well as the next trilateral meeting on May 22, 2022, after the establishment of the Brussels Peace Agenda during his visit to Brussels on April 6 this year, has already taken steps to accelerate the implementation of agreements reached in previous meetings has the character of specification.
The final statement of the labor-intensive meeting, which lasted about 5 hours, was voiced by the President of the Council of the European Union, Charles Michel, and almost completely satisfied the interests of Azerbaijan.
The statement said that the decision to continue negotiations to ensure peace, clarify the whereabouts of missing persons and their fate, support humanitarian demining efforts, as well as to continue the work of the Economic Advisory Group to ensure economic development, border management, security, land rights, the agreement on customs principles in the context of international transport also aims to minimize the risk of any new war in the region.
At the same time, the non-use of the term "Nagorno-Karabakh" in the discussions, the absence of the status issue at all, the discussion of the rights of the Armenian population living only in Azerbaijan is a clear example of Mr. President's humanist position based on peace and justice.
All the meetings held, and the joint agreements reached once again make it important to fully implement all the provisions of the statement signed on November 10, 2020.
Mr. President's resolute position in the negotiations, the progress made by our country in signing a peace agreement based on international law, give grounds to say that Azerbaijan already has real power in the region.
The resolution of the Karabakh conflict would limit the probability of a military conflict at last in next few decades. This would secure not only Azerbaijan and Armenia’s strategic interests in the region, but also those of their allies, who favor an equitable solution in the region. The restoration of friendly bilateral relations between both countries would also reinforce the latter’s efforts for accession to the European Union, a development which would allow for greater bilateral cooperation and further economic possibilities. 
Thus, in order to increase integration and create sustainable economic development in the region, the economic ties should be created through assistance of EU institutions. In the last visit of the president of the European Council, Mr. Charles Michel, he mentioned: “one third of EU member states consider Azerbaijan a strategic partner”. This was also a promise that EU will play a very important role for a broad regional cooperation.
In regard to all positive changes, the EU is and will be a key partner of both Armenia and Azerbaijan for socio-economic recovery including within the Eastern Partnership. The EU will commit to playing an active role in shaping a durable and comprehensive settlement, including through support for stabilization, conflict transformation, and confidence building and reconciliation measures.
These changes will make the all countries of the region more significant both in geopolitical and geo-economic terms, since numerous projects on the north-south and west-east lines are already being implemented into the bargain. At the same time, the establishment of sustainable peace and stability between countries will increase the investment attractiveness in the region.