The meeting between President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan on April 6, 2020, in Brussels, has increased the hope of building permanent peace between Baku and Yerevan. Yerevan administration has declared that they have end up with starting peace negotiations on solving Karabakh issue after the meeting of Aliyev and Pashinyan. In the declaration, it was said that “Prime Minister of Armenia and President of Azerbaijan have instructed Foreign Ministers for preparation on peace talks.” President of the European Council Charles Michel also claimed that the leaders have made a consensus on establishing a mutual working group and starting a solid negotiation process for signing a peace agreement, and he expressed that “I am sure that we have taken an important step. Of course, this does not mean everything has solved.”
After all that developments, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has said that the five-article proposal for establishing relations between the states was accepted by Armenia. Until the end of April 2022, it is expected to establish a mutual commission for deciding on the borders. The experts, who evaluated normalization process towards peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan to Ankara Center for Crisis and Policy Studies (ANKASAM), are saying that the talks between the sides are the start of a new period.
ANKASAM International Relations Expert Dr. Dogacan Basaran: Peace talks will escalate cooperation process in the South Caucasus.
ANKASAM International Relations Expert Dr. Dogacan Basaran has clarified that the steps taken for permanent peace between Azerbaijan and Armenia will escalate the cooperation process as well, and this situation will be turn into the benefit of all states economically. Basaran has said that, “At that point, it is expected that two important question to be solved, which are definition of the borders between Azerbaijan and Armenia, and opening the Zangezur Corridor. Although that expectation, Yerevan administration has procrastinated the process so far. The main reason for this is that the traditional Armenian politics and other institutions of the country especially the army, is inclined towards the occupation. In that sense, Pashinyan, who wants to be integrated with the West, therefore, wants to put into practice of normalization process even it was slowly, has taken important steps following a balanced policy.
Stressing that Pashinyan’s elimination of the protests and coup attempt after the war defeat and his victorious exit from the early elections accelerated the process, Başaran said that normalizing relations with Azerbaijan would eliminate the isolation of Armenia from the international community and Armenia’s geopolitical and geoeconomic gains through new corridors. He said he will get it.
Basaran stated that the normalization of the relations between the two countries will make the Middle Corridor the lowest cost and most reliable route of regional and global transportation and energy routes; He interpreted the fact that the negotiations were held under the mediation of the EU as an indication that Russia’s influence in the region would decrease.
Baku State University, Department of International Relations Lecturer Assoc. Dr. Metin Memmedli: Although some problems between the two countries persisted, a positive atmosphere was created.
Highlighting the importance of 5-articled proposal offered by Azerbaijan to Armenia is quite important, Baku State University Department of International Relations Lecturer Assoc. Dr. Lecturer Metin Memmedli said that various problems will be resolved by the end of April 2022 and that Armenia’s fulfillment of its responsibilities will play an important role here. Memedli said, “As part of the ceasefire agreement signed on November 10, 2020, Armenia had to completely withdraw its troops from Karabakh; but we see that this is still not fulfilled. Therefore, although some problems between the two countries continue, there has been a positive atmosphere recently.”
Mammadli, who stated that he was aware that Armenia would face serious problems if it did not come to a peace agreement with Azerbaijan, said that Azerbaijan supports peace and this is important for the South Caucasus.
Retired Brigadier General Yucel Karauz: It is Armenia that needs peace the most.
Retired Brigadier General Yucel Karauz stated that developments such as the acceptance of the 5-point proposal by Baku by the Yerevan administration and the meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the two countries are positive steps for the normalization process.
Karauz said, “When we look at it from realpolitik, it is Armenia that needs peace, stability and tranquility the most. Cooperation between the countries of the region and the redesign of transportation and energy lines through Armenia will solve the trust problem. Undoubtedly, all countries will benefit from the economic welfare pool that will be formed here. Armenia’s belief in this is a very important historical turning point.”
In addition to this, Karauz also mentioned Iran’s attitude towards the process and said, “An important issue here is that Iran is also convinced of this issue. The Tehran administration perceives the resolution of the Karabakh Problem as a development against itself. Therefore, it is of great importance to persuade Iran to contribute to peace and stability here.”
In addition, Karauz claimed that Russia’s preoccupation with the war in Ukraine also contributed to Armenia’s acceptance of the 5-point proposal.
Retired Ambassador Hulusi Kılıç: This process depends on Armenia’s completion of her liabilities.
Emphasizing that the peace process will progress rapidly if Armenia fulfills its obligations, Retired Ambassador Hulusi Kılıç said that Armenia has made peace with the new geopolitical reality in the region.
“Negotiations may take long or short, Azerbaijan is a strong state that has won the war in any case. There is a rightful Azerbaijan on the table. Azerbaijan has undertaken the responsibilities that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group did not fulfill in the region. This process depends on Armenia’s determination to fulfill its obligations.” made his comment.
Pointing out that there may be objections to the multi-faceted peace agreement to be signed from Armenia, Kılıç stated that the guarantor states could step in regarding the implementation of the agreement. Kılıç said, “This agreement is in favor of Armenia.” made its assessment.
Journalist Aynur Imran: Armenia has proposed Azerbaijan some conditions.
Journalist Aynur Imran, claiming that Armenia accepted the 5-point proposal proposed by Azerbaijan under certain conditions, claimed that one of the conditions in question was related to the legal situation of the Armenians who will live in Karabakh. Imran said, “As far as I understand, the Azerbaijani Government does not take kindly to the conditions of Armenia. Therefore, he does not explain the conditions of Armenia so that it does not undermine the peace process.”
Expressing that a new era has been entered in the process evolving towards peace, Imran said, “If you look at the last meeting in Brussels, the Armenians realized that the Minsk Group was out of order. In the same way, since they understood that they would not receive support from the West, they said, let’s at least start a new process and take new steps. There are some reactions to this process in the eyes of the people in Armenia. The peace process will be explained to the public gradually. Therefore, the normalization process may take some time.” used the phrases.