Azerbaijan did a great job in expanding its presence and role in many international organizations in 2016, Peter Tase, political analyst and international relations expert with the Marquette University, told Trend via email Dec. 23.
He added that the country actively promoted multiculturalism and implemented many successful economic projects in 2016.
“Baku has experienced a soft transition towards the development of other industrial and manufacturing sectors in addition to its highly developed petrochemical industry,” he said.
“The Azerbaijani government has strengthened its economic and political partnership with the Russian Federation,” he added.
Tase reminded about the meeting of the presidents of Russia and Iran in Baku in a trilateral summit on August 8, as well as such important events as the seventh Global Forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, the fifth Baku International Humanitarian Forum, and a lot of sports events held in Baku in 2016.
“Azerbaijan has emerged as one of very few countries in the world to host large summits and conferences that contribute to peace and stability in the world,” he said.
Recalling that Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev declared 2016 as the year of multiculturalism, Tase said Azerbaijan is the only country in the world that has put the multicultural dialogue on the center stage, which is one of the important aspects in the settlement of all armed conflicts, fostering mutual understanding and strengthening peace and stability in the Caspian region and beyond.
Tase believes that Azerbaijan did everything possible towards settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in 2016, saying “On the other hand, we have observed Armenia holding tight on the status-quo.”
He added that the international community, the UN Security Council and OSCE Minsk Group must work more actively to resolve the conflict and ensure withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces from the occupied Azerbaijani territories.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts. The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.