OSCE MG helps West maintain influence on Baku – Haaretz
Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 16
By Elmira Tariverdiyeva - Trend:
Azerbaijan turning into a strategically important energy exporter to the West did not give Azerbaijan diplomatic leverage, Haaretz wrote.
The article said that it did not motivate the Western countries in the Minsk Group and other forums to work vigorously to restore Azerbaijan's lost territory.
"The Western mediators in the Minsk Group stated outright over the years that Azerbaijan's energy exports did not give it any geopolitical advantage," Avinoam Idan, research fellow at Johns Hopkins University, wrote.
The writer also teaches at the Energy Studies Program at the University of Haifa.
The author wrote that moreover, not only did energy exports do nothing to resolve the conflict with Armenia, it hasn't even given Azerbaijan any advantage in the corridors of power in the United States or Europe.
"Europe, which sought to reduce its dependence on Russian energy, saw Azerbaijan as an important player," the article said. "Azerbaijan's share of energy exports to Europe has increased significantly since 2005, when gas and oil pipelines began operating from Azerbaijan directly to the Mediterranean. This would improve Azerbaijan's diplomatic standing in the West."
The author wrote that to date, this diplomatic activity by the United States and European countries has yielded little progress, and the territories remain in Armenian hands.
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 two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the US are currently holding peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented the UN Security Council's four resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.