Baku, Azerbaijan, March 4
By Elmira Tariverdiyeva - Trend:
Azerbaijan maintains a balance in relations with regional players, the Azerbaijani MP, Rasim Musabeyov said during round-table on the theme "Geopolitics of the Caspian-Black Sea Region: security problems" organized by the North-South Center for Political Analysis in Baku on March 4.
At the same time, Azerbaijan should retain the possibility to protect itself, according to the MP.
"Baku integrated air defense system with Turkey, herewith the level of military-technical cooperation with Russia exceeds the level of cooperation with Turkey and Israel in this area," Musabeyov said.
The main problem of the region remains the unresolved Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, he stressed.
In his turn, Azerbaijani political scientist, Professor of Western University Fikret Sadikhov said that the OSCE Minsk Group has not fulfilled its role as mediator in the peace process for many years, and has not contributed to the resolution of the conflict.
The editor in chief of the Novosti-Azerbaijan Agency, Gulnara Mammadzade said that a new sore spot in the CIS region is Ukraine.
As a result of protests in Ukraine, the country's President Viktor Yanukovich was ousted on Feb.22. The Verkhovna Rada (parliament) has approved the new composition of the parliament and is preparing to hold pre-term elections.
Time for reorientation of the Ukrainian political arena was not chosen by chance - it is the last year of completion of the Customs Union formation, the creation of which would be meaningless without such an important player as Kiev.
Redistribution of interests will happen between the major internal and external players of the region in 2014. Much depends on Iran's position in the region, she said.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 per cent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven 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. are currently holding peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.
Translated by S.I.
Edited by C.N.