Sochi meeting is tremendous step in right direction; Armenia must act quickly in order to intercept its abandoned priorities - experts
BAKU, Azerbaijan, November 27
On November 26, Sochi hosted a meeting of the Presidents of Azerbaijan, Russia, and the Prime Minister of Armenia, at which a number of issues were discussed, including the opening of communications, delimitation and demarcation of borders, Trend reports.
The Sochi meeting is a continuation of the act of surrender signed last year, forcing Armenia to act in accordance with the conditions put forward by Azerbaijan, accepting the realities that have emerged as a result of the victory of the Azerbaijani army.
The Sochi meeting is a tremendous step towards the right direction; Armenia must act quickly in order to intercept its abandoned priorities and it is in Yerevan's best interest to collaborate (and keep an open mind) in regional economic and transportation projects, Peter Tase, US expert, strategic adviser on international affairs and public diplomacy to governments, universities, and corporations in Europe and the Americas told Trend.
Tase noted that the trilateral meeting of Sochi hosted by President of Russian Federation is a substantial testament of the willingness of the Republic of Azerbaijan to pursue a peaceful course of actions with its neighboring country of Armenia.
“The President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has expressed once again the willingness of Baku to begin a process of dialogue and peaceful coexistence with the Government of Armenia. Azerbaijan with its glorious armed forces has shown to the world that liberation of sovereign territory by military operations was a great success; paired with impressive diplomatic actions including a vibrant foreign policy. The Sochi trilateral meeting has demonstrated a weak Armenian leadership that refuses to accept reality in the ground and is hesitant to engage in regional economic and infrastructure projects,” Tase said.
In his words, Azerbaijan has historically shown an infinite propensity towards preserving dialogue, peaceful coexistence among communities of diverse ethnic backgrounds, inside its sovereign territory.
“Armenian participation in the Sochi Trilateral meeting is a big step forward and the Russian Government's leadership in this matter is critical, highly important; Moscow is maintaining a well balanced position towards preserving Azerbaijan's full territorial sovereignty and persuading Yerevan to accept the reality in the ground,” Tase noted.
In his words, the November 26th meeting in Sochi is a great step forward as Armenian Government is adamant, hesitant to fulfill the trilateral agreement signed on November 10, 2020 and continues to incite armed provocations nearby the international border line between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
“Armenian leadership continues to be very weak, has lost significant popularity among its constituents and Armenian society unfortunately continues to be self isolated; these international meetings will eventually open up the mind of Pashinyan and convince him that the path of economic success for his country is the complete fulfillment of the November 10th, 2020, trilateral agreement. Zangazur Corridor is a strategic territory that will alleviate the regional economic cooperation and increase the flow of goods and services in Azerbaijan's western most territory, Autonomous Republic of Nakhchivan - a region of Azerbaijan that has been going through a ruthless economic blockade implemented by Armenian regime over the last thirty years,” Tase noted.
Tase once again emphasized that Armenia must accept the new geopolitical reality in the South Caucasus and act accordingly in order for Armenia to become a shareholder of international infrastructure projects in this part of Eurasia.
“The Sochi meeting is a tremendous step towards the right direction; Armenia must act quickly in order to intercept its abandoned priorities and it is in Yerevan's best interest to collaborate (and keep an open mind) in regional economic and transportation projects. Armenia has lost a great deal of time and now it must fully honor, respect the November 10th, 2020 trilateral agreement, so that people living in both countries can live in peace and harmony,” Tase noted.
In turn, Irina Tsukerman, the US-based expert and analyst thinks that if Armenia rejects the olive branch gesture at the current junction, this may become another turning point on the international stage.
“The meeting comes in light of the upcoming bilateral Brussels meeting between Pashinyan and President Aliyev. For Baku's part, Azerbaijan once again demonstrates that having liberated its territories it remains dedicated to regional integration and wishes to see success among neighbors and offers opportunities for prosperity, peace, and mutual cooperation,” she said.
But, she noted, will Armenia accept the offer after playing a subtle double game and sending mixed messages over the past year, particularly resisting the opening of the Zangazur corridor at the center of successful trade integration between Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Turkey?
“Indeed, as Armenia is set to accept imports from Turkey starting January 2022, it seems strange that it continues to resist peace overtures from its neighbor after losing the war and committing to cessation of hostilities and the idea of peace. So far it is not clear what Armenia is hoping to gain from continuing to object to common sense measures for moving forward. If it rejects the olive branch gesture at the current junction, this may become another turning point on the international stage. Will Armenia choose peace and support from the EU which may help it overcome its financial shortcomings and economic dependency on the EU? Or will it continue to depend on the populist push from the revanchists and the Armenian lobby?” she said.
She also noted that the delimitation and demarcation of borders between Azerbaijan and Armenia, is a process that will move forward and the Sochi meeting will help accelerate this important process.
“Azerbaijan has always shown a great proclivity to preserve open dialogue and encourage interfaith coexistence in the ground - with the Armenian residents of Azerbaijan - this is a historic philosophy that rises, elevates Azerbaijan as one of the world's top countries that preserves inter-ethnic coexistence, inter-religious dialogue and fully respects the international humanitarian law,” Tsukerman added.