The Need of The Hour: Towards Peace (News.Az chief editor’s article in European media)
European website moderndiplomacy.eu has published an article by Ulviyya Zulfikar, Chief Editor of News.Az, an Azerbaijani-based English-language news agency.
News.Az republishes the article entitled “The Need of The Hour: Towards Peace”.
In recent days, official meetings have been held with the aim of advancing the process of peace talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan. On August 31, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev held a trilateral meeting with President of the European Council Charles Michel and Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan in Brussels.
The statement issued following the meeting notes that the Commissions on the delimitation of the border between Azerbaijan and Armenia will hold its next meeting in Brussels in November.
The statement also underlined that during the meeting the parties reviewed progress on all questions related to the delimitation of the border and how best to ensure a stable situation.
“We reviewed progress of discussions on the modalities for unblocking the transport links. With all these discussions, I would like to underline that it is important to take the population along on both sides and prepare them for a long-term sustainable peace. The EU is ready to further step up its support towards a long-term sustainable peace. The EU will also continue to push for the advancement of economic development for the benefit of both countries and their populations,” Charles Michel said in a statement following the meeting.
Expressing gratitude to both leaders for open and productive exchange of views, Michel stressed that the entire set of issues on the agenda was reviewed, and it is positive to see that quite a few steps have been taken to take forward the agreements reached during their last meeting.
During the meeting, the parties also agreed to step up substantive work to advance on the peace treaty governing inter-state relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan and tasked the Foreign Ministers to meet within one month to work on draft texts.
Now, there is a format of the EU mediation in the normalization of Azerbaijan-Armenia relations. The Karabakh conflict has been consigned to history, a new page has opened. At present, the signing of a peace treaty is the most important factor for ensuring lasting peace and security in the region and achieving the normalization of relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia.
“The EU is mediating the normalization of Azerbaijan-Armenia relations. At the same time, there is no Karabakh issue here, and this issue is considered an internal matter of Azerbaijan. Finally, the process of normalizing Azerbaijan-Armenia relations through the EU mediation is based on the five basic principles put forward by Azerbaijan,” President Ilham Aliyev, who left Brussels for Italy after the tripartite meeting, said in an interview with the Italian “Il Sole 24 Ore” newspaper in Cernobbio.
In general, since May, several meetings have been held to discuss and accelerate the peace process.
Although there have been cases of shelling of the Azerbaijani Army’s positions on the Armenia-Azerbaijan state border, Baku keeps moving on the path of peace. Preparations are underway for the upcoming meetings, and the relevant documents are being drafted.
A BRIEF REMINDER; Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and 7 surrounding districts.
Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group – Russia, France, and the U.S. – holded the peace negotiations.
On September 27, 2020, in response to the large-scale provocation of the Armenian armed forces on the frontline, the Azerbaijani Army launched a counter-offensive operation, later called the “Iron Fist”. The 44-day Second Karabakh War, which erupted as a result, put an end to nearly thirty years of occupation of Azerbaijani territories and the restoration of the country’s territorial integrity.
The liberation of Shusha, on November 8, played a decisive role in the fate of the war, leading to the cessation of hostilities.
On November 10, the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, the Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan and the President of Russia Vladimir Putin signed a trilateral statement on a complete ceasefire of all military operations in the conflict zone. According to the statement, Agdam was liberated on November 20, Kalbajar on November 25, and Lachin on December 1 without a single shot being fired and no more soldiers being killed. Negotiations on peace treatment are going on.
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