Baku, Azerbaijan, April 2
By Leman Zeynalova – Trend:
Vienna meeting held between Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan marks a new beginning in bilateral negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan, Peter M. Tase, expert in Transatlantic Relations and Azerbaijani Studies, a senior advisor to the Global Engineering Deans Council and to various European and Latin American governments, told Trend.
“On March 29, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, in his meeting with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, showed a great level of statecraft and pragmatism throughout the bilateral discussions. It is imperative to emphasize that Azerbaijan has constantly delineated a strong interest towards solving the Nagorno-Karabakh protracted conflict through peaceful means. The Vienna meeting marks a new beginning in the bilateral negotiations and discussions between Armenia and Azerbaijan, this is a useful platform that has and will continue to handle all pending matters that affect both countries,” said the US expert.
He pointed out that indeed, until now, Armenia and its leadership has been engaged in negotiations only to earn additional time and preserve the current status-quo, a tactic that is unacceptable towards Azerbaijan and the Azerbaijani people.
The OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs and the international community in general must remain on alert and further pressure Yerevan to withdraw its armed troops from the sovereign territory of Azerbaijan and refrain from violating human rights within the internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan, noted Tase.
Tase further noted that European Union structures in charge of European security must take a closer look to the progress of these negotiations and exert pressure so that Armenian leadership has no more opportunities to buy more valuable time in the negotiations' table, rather deliver concrete results based on what has been discussed and agreed upon with their counterparts from the government of Azerbaijan.
The President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan met on March 29 in Vienna for the first time under the auspices of the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group (Igor Popov of the Russian Federation, Stéphane Visconti of France, and Andrew Schofer of the United States of America).
The meeting was also attended by Foreign Ministers Zohrab Mnatsakanyan and Elmar Mammadyarov. Andrzej Kasprzyk, the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, also participated in the meeting.
The statement issued on the results of the meeting reads that the two leaders underlined the importance of building up an environment conducive to peace and taking further concrete and tangible steps in the negotiation process to find a peaceful solution to the conflict.
“Recalling their conversation in Dushanbe, the leaders recommitted to strengthening the ceasefire and improving the mechanism for direct communication. They also agreed to develop a number of measures in the humanitarian field,” said the statement.
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.
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