Rob Sobhani: Azerbaijani president’s participation in NATO summit shows Baku’s turning into significant int’l player

Politics Materials 9 July 2016 11:32 (UTC +04:00)

Baku, Azerbaijan, July 9

By Elena Kosolapova – Trend

The invitation to Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev to participate in the NATO summit in Warsaw demonstrates that Azerbaijan has emerged as a significant international player in global affairs economically, militarily and politically, CEO of the US Caspian Group Holdings Rob Sobhani told Trend July 9.

NATO summit is underway in Warsaw July 8-9 with participation of Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev. The summit participants are discussing strengthening the stability beyond NATO borders, fighting terrorism, enhancing the defence capability and deterrence means of the Alliance.

“As the major anchor of transport for Caspian energy resources to the West, Azerbaijan is critical to NATO's efforts to diversify energy resources into its member states,” he said. “For NATO, Azerbaijan is viewed as a responsible energy exporter it can rely on for the long term.”

Talking about the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which was among the issues discussed on the sidelines of the summit, Sobhani noted that unfortunately, the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries, Russia, the US and France, have not shown any serious and robust will to solve the conflict.

Both for internal and external reasons, Russia, US and France cannot seem to focus on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which means that the resolution may still not be at hand, he added.

“What is missing is a "vision for peace" between Armenia and Azerbaijan, a vision that can show a clear and mutually beneficial settlement of the conflict,” said Sobhani.

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.


Follow the author on Twitter:@E_Kosolapova