The National Interest publishes article titled "Is the Armenia-Azerbaijan peace process dead?"

The National Interest, an influential American newspaper, has published an article, titled “Is the Armenia-Azerbaijan peace process dead?”, by Farid Shafiyev, Chairman of the Board of the Baku-based Center of Analysis of International Relations (AIR Center), and Vasif Huseynov, Head of Department at the AIR Center, News.Az reports.

Providing information about the military provocations committed by Armenia against Azerbaijan on September 13, the authors note that the border clashes occurred after the negotiations in Brussels mediated by European Council President Charles Michel.

The article says that while three previous meetings raised hopes for the prospect of signing a peace treaty based on a five-point proposal initiated by Azerbaijan, which rests on the mutual recognition of the territorial integrity of both countries, Armenia reintroduced the issue of the so-called status of Nagorno-Karabakh, which means returning to a conflict-related agenda.

“Moreover, beyond agreeing to a peace settlement, there are three other problems that must be addressed. First, the delimitation of borders, which was under Armenian control for thirty years and thus never defined. Second, the opening of transportation links, and third, the resolution of humanitarian problems such as landmines, detainees, and missing persons,” it notes.

The authors state that Pashinyan also changed his position about the construction of a railway between mainland Azerbaijan and Nakhchivan through the Zangazur corridor that passes through the southern Armenian territories.

“It is worth recalling that last year he had declared that railway construction was acceptable and rejected only the idea of paving a highway along this route. Following the May 22 summit, Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev stated that the sides had agreed on the establishment of the transportation route along Zangazur. Apparently, the Armenian government has now stepped back from this agreement,” they said. 

The article underlines that the two years since the Second Karabakh War have demonstrated that the bloodshed will not stop if the status quo persists.

It is noted that both sides must reach agreements on a number of pressing issues as soon as possible in order to end the hostilities. “It is necessary to resolve the most outstanding issue: Armenia must either recognize Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan or continue to pursue a conflict-related agenda.”

The authors believe that the delimitation and mutual recognition of state borders would open a new chapter in bilateral relations.

“The international commission on the delimitation and demarcation of borders should continue to meet and work to build trust and confidence between the two countries. The lack of a peace agreement might expand the theater of future hostilities between the two countries and lead to new tragedies. While thirty years of military action occurred on the territory of Azerbaijan, the latest clashes have shown that Azerbaijan will not tolerate shelling and rocket strikes from the territory of Armenia and its response will affect Armenian military installations there.”

“Unfortunately, the major powers that previously dealt with the resolution of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, namely Russia, France, and the United States, have opposing interests in the region. Additionally, U.S. politics are occasionally affected by various domestic interests, such as Armenian lobby groups. The Brussels platform, which initially looked promising, is now endangered,” the authors conclude.


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