TODAY.AZ / Politics

South Caucasus Weekly Review looks into major developments in Armenia, Georgia & Azerbaijan

28 September 2022 [09:59] - TODAY.AZ

By Vugar Khalilov

South Caucasus Weekly Review: 19-25 Sep 22

This project of Azernews is designed to cover major weekly developments in the South Caucasus nations.

HIGHLIGHTS

CSTO Secretary-General arrives in Armenia

Washington emphasizes need for comprehensive, long-term regional peace

Armenian premier blames Azerbaijan for recent border clashes at UN

EU publishes evaluation of its support to Georgia

Ankara, Tbilisi mull multidimensional cooperation

Baku urges host nations to protect diplomatic missions from Armenian attacks

Azerbaijani, Armenian top diplomats meet in New York after recent deadly clashes on border

Baku hands over bodies of 95 Armenian servicemen back to Yerevan

Azerbaijani FM addresses global security & cooperation issues at UN

ARMENIA

CSTO Secretary-General arrives in Armenia

The CSTO delegation led by Secretary General Stanislav Zas arrived in Armenia on September 20, Azernews reports, citing the Armenian media.

The mission’s objective is to assess the situation, prepare a report for leaders of member-states and develop proposals for de-escalation of tensions on the Armenia-Azerbaijan border, the CSTO said in a press release.

“Over the course of the mission, actions related to studying and monitoring the current situation in border regions are planned, as well as meetings with the highest political and military leadership of the Republic of Armenia.”

On Septmeber 22, Zas met with Chief of the General Staff of the Armenian army Maj-Gen Edward Asryan in Yerevan to discuss the situation in separate sections of Armenia’s border regions. The possible future measures by the CSTO in the current situation were addressed.

Following that, Zas took his delegation to the border region of the Vayots Dzor province along the border with Azerbaijan. Here he spoke with the Armenian army commanders stationed along the front lines, as well as local officials.

Washington emphasizes need for comprehensive, long-term regional peace

At the meeting with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on the margins of the 77th UN General Assembly session in New York, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken underlined need for comprehensive and long term peace in the region, Azernews reports, citing the Armenian media.

Pashinyan briefed the opposite side about the latest regional developments, adding that Armenia attaches importance to the clear positions and evaluations of the US regarding what happened. He highly appreciated Blinken's personal efforts to support the negotiation process and dialogue.

Blinken, for his part, stressed the willingness of the US to continue its efforts aimed at the negotiation and peace process, emphasizing the need for a comprehensive and long-term settlement of the conflict. The diplomat underlined the importance of the trilateral meeting between Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers in New York expressing optimism about the continuation of the dialogue in the future.

At the meeting, the sides also exchanged thoughts on the continuous development of Armenian-U.S. relations and other issues of mutual interest.

Similarly, Pashinyan had a meeting with European Council President Charles Michel in New York.

Michel voiced concern about the tensions along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, underlining the significance of resolving regional issues through peaceful means. The European Council President emphasized his desire to foster dialogue and peace.

Armenian premier blames Azerbaijan for recent border clashes at UN

Armenian premier Nikol Pashinyan has condemned Azerbaijan for the recent border clashes along the state border during his address to the 77th UNGA session in New York, Azernews reports, citing the Armenian media.

Pashinyan said that there has been no concrete progress in the delimitation and demarcation of Armenian and Azerbaijani borders, the opening of regional communications and towards the future peace treaty since Azerbaijan is exploiting all of these matters to assert territorial claims against Armenia.

“In this regard I’m posing an official and public question to the Azerbaijani president. Could you show the map of Armenia, that you recognize or are ready to recognize as the Republic of Armenia? Why I’m asking this. Because it can come out that from the point of view of official Azerbaijan only half of Armenia and even less - is the Republic of Armenia. If Azerbaijan would recognize territorial integrity of Armenia, not theoretically, but concretely, I mean the integrity of our internationally recognized territory of 29.800 square kilometers, it would mean that we can sign peace treaty by mutually recognizing each other’s territorial integrity. Otherwise, we would have a phantom peace treaty and after that Azerbaijan will use border delimitation process for new territorial claims and occupation,” he stressed.

He added that international observation mission to the Armenia-Azerbaijan bordering areas would be an important factor for regional stability.

“I want to underscore that diplomatic solutions are an absolute priority for us and the full engagement and support of international community is crucial. In this regard I would like to mention, that the international observation mission to the Armenia-Azerbaijan bordering areas would be an important factor for regional stability,” Pashinyan said.

GEORGIA

EU publishes evaluation of its support to Georgia

On September 19, the European Union published a detailed evaluation on the effectiveness and impact of the EU’s cooperation with Georgia over the past funding period (2014-2020), the EU Delegation to Georgia reported.

The evaluation reads that the EU’s cooperation with Georgia has been “strategically sound and has benefitted from a strong institutional setup in its design and implementation.” The conclusions also state that a wide range of instruments, modalities and funding channels have been employed in the cooperation with Georgia.

“There has been progress contributing to increased accountability and transparency and the visa liberalization has worked well. The evaluation highlights that the population’s trust in the European Union has remained high.”

However, according to the document, visibility of EU projects was a problem in the early stages of the reviewed period, but the Delegation has improved its approach. Along with the flaws, little progress has been observed in the reform of the judiciary as well as in human rights.

The following general recommendations were given by the evaluation team:

The EU should continue to use the wide range of instruments, modalities, and channels, including policy and political dialogue, but with closer attention to effectiveness. The union should adopt a critical approach to assessing the need for capacity building and technical assistance to ensure sustainability.

The EU should continue to improve the quality of mainstreaming cross-cutting issues, particularly gender equality and women’s empowerment. The European Union’s cooperation portfolio should be positioned strategically to reflect the evolving geopolitical context.

Ankara, Tbilisi mull multidimensional cooperation

Georgian premier Irakli Garbashvili and Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed strategic partnership, trade and economic relations, regional and global security issues in New York on September 20.

Substantial results of the strategic partnership between the two countries, political dynamics of high-level bilateral interaction, engagement and active cooperation of Georgia and Republic of Turkiye in projects of regional geo-political nature were noted at the meeting.

Discussion topics also included the war waged in Ukraine and resulting challenges in the complex security environment of the world and region. Significance of peace and stability was noted for ensuring the further development and long-term prosperity of the region. Within this context, agreement reached last year between Azerbaijan and Armenia with a mediation of Garibashvili was praised , as it resulted in the release of Armenian prisoners by Azerbaijan in return of essential maps shared by Armenia with Azerbaijan. It was thereby stated that further advancement of the effective cooperation between Georgia and Turkiye in every direction is vital for the stable and sustainable development of the region.

AZERBAIJAN

Baku urges host nations to protect diplomatic missions from Armenian attacks

Baku has urged the host nations to protect the Azerbaijani diplomatic missions from possible attacks of Armenian fanatics in their territories, Azernews reports, citing the Foreign Ministry.

“We strongly condemn the criminal actions of the radical Armenian groups and expect a responsible attitude to their duties from agencies in charge of preventing such provocations in the respective countries,” the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry emphasized that the attacks by Armenian communities on buildings of the Azerbaijani diplomatic missions abroad are a source of serious concern.

These assaults, which include elements of vandalism and terrorism, are intended to hurt diplomats and their properties, and hence are classified as criminal acts, the ministry underlined.

Azerbaijan demands that the acts of vandalism committed by radical Armenian forces be investigated by the respective countries' law enforcement authorities and those liable for these crimes to face legal consequences, it added.

The ministry reminded that in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961, it is the host state's specific obligation to safeguard the diplomatic mission from all types of assaults and damage and to take the necessary steps to avoid a breach of tranquility or an insult to the mission's honor.

Following the recent border clashes between Azerbaijani and Armenian military forces in response to the latter's provocation, a number of Azerbaijani missions overseas have been attacked and vandalized by Armenian fanatical groups.

On September 18, Armenian extremists in France stormed the building of the Azerbaijani embassy in Paris.

“French Armenian fanatics storm the building of the Azerbaijani embassy in Paris. But let's leave the Armenian barbarians aside. Mr. Emmanuel Macron, shame on France, which does not protect embassies and ignores our fundamental requests related to our security,” Rahman Mustafayev, Azerbaijani Ambassador to France tweeted.

Similarly, an aggressive group of Armenian radicals attacked the Azerbaijani embassy in Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, on September 16.

Azerbaijani, Armenian top diplomats meet in New York after recent deadly clashes on border

On September 19, within the framework of the high-level week of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly, a meeting was held between Azerbaijani and Armenian Foreign Ministers Jeyhun Bayramov and Ararat Mirzoyan respectively on the initiative and with the participation of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the press service of the Foreign Ministry reports.

During the meeting, Minister Bayramov drew attention to Azerbaijan's position on ensuring peace in the region in the post-conflict period and the necessary steps in this direction.

Bayramov stressed that on September 12-14, carrying out provocations and attacks on Azerbaijan, Armenia provoked clashes, as well as the fact that Armenia violated the preliminary ceasefire agreement reached within a few hours, which led to additional losses. He noted that Azerbaijan is not interested in destabilizing the situation in the region as a party conducting large-scale reconstruction work in the region and placing former internally displaced persons there.

The minister recalled that despite the grave consequences of the occupation of the internationally recognized territories of Azerbaijan for 30 years, Baku put forward a proposal to sign a peace treaty immediately after the 44-day Patriotic War and consistently takes initiatives in this direction. According to him, despite the efforts of Azerbaijan in the process of normalizing relations with Armenia, opening communications, delimitation and demarcation of borders, as well as in the humanitarian direction, Armenia hinders the processes and grossly violates its obligations within the framework of tripartite statements.

Minister Jeyhun Bayramov once again stressed the readiness for urgent negotiations between the leaders towards ensuring lasting peace in accordance with the tripartite statements and the results of the meeting in Brussels.

Baku hands over bodies of 95 Armenian servicemen back to Yerevan

Baku has returned the bodies of 95 Armenian servicemen to Yerevan, Azernews reports, citing the State Commission on Prisoners of War, Hostages and Missing Persons.

A search was conducted for the corpses of Armenian military personnel, who were killed in the area as a result of the Azerbaijani army’s counter-attack operation against large-scale provocations perpetrated by the Armenian armed forces on the state border on September 12-14, the committee said.

The bodies of 95 Armenian military personnel were examined on September 20 in cooperation with the Azerbaijani Military Prosecutor's Office. The bodies were handed over to Armenia through the International Committee of the Red Cross after it was determined that there were no marks of violence on them.

Azerbaijan has honored its commitment to international humanitarian law and human ideals once again. The humanitarian process of transferring the bodies of Armenian personnel to the opposing side will be carried on, the committee said.

To recap, units of the Armenian armed forces carried out large-scale provocations along the Azerbaijani-Armenian state border in the Dashkasan, Kalbajar, and Lachin directions on the night of September 12 leading to 13. The Armenian sabotage groups mined land and supply roads linking the positions of the Azerbaijani army units in different directions, taking advantage of the area's steep topography and existing ravine gaps.

The clashes between the sides ensued as a result of the urgent efforts made by the Azerbaijani armed forces to quell these activities. As a result, 79 armed forces personnel were killed, the ministry detailed.

So far, the Armenian government reported 207 losses among its own military personnel. Moreover, 293 soldiers and three civilians were wounded, and 20 soldiers were taken prisoners.

Azerbaijani FM addresses global security & cooperation issues at UN

Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov has addressed global and regional security, as well as cooperation issues on the margins of the 77th UN General Assembly session in New York, Azernews reports, citing the ministry.

CICA

As part of his visit to New York, Bayramov attended the informal meeting of the foreign ministers of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) on September 22.

Addressing the meeting, chaired by Kazakhstan, Bayramov underlined the growing need for regional engagement and cooperation in light of the mounting threats to global security. In this regard, he stressed CICA’s importance as a platform for encouraging communication and cooperation, as well as developing confidence and maintaining regional security and prosperity.

He emphasized the importance of respecting international legal norms and principles, particularly sovereignty, territorial integrity, and border inviolability, to preserve regional and global peace and stability. The importance of the CICA for the implementation of confidence-building measures was noted.

Moreover, CICA’s confidence-building measures on safe and efficient transport corridor systems, which have been coordinated by Azerbaijan, were underlined.

The minister stressed that Azerbaijan is actively promoting communication projects such as East-West and North-South transit corridors between the CICA member nations. In this context, the minister underlined the relevance of the Zangazur Corridor, which would significantly contribute to regional and global peace by promoting local, regional, as well as trans-regional trade.

During the meeting, matters concerning the preparations for the CICA’s Astana Summit were also addressed.

Organization of Islamic Cooperation

On September 22, Bayramov attended the annual coordination meeting of the foreign ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member states in New York.

In his address to the meeting chaired by Pakistan, Bayramov reaffirmed Azerbaijan's commitment to Islamic solidarity, as well as to the Islamic ideals of peace, tolerance, togetherness, harmony, and justice for the benefit of humanity's progress and prosperity.

The top diplomat described the OIC, as the main international organization, as well as one of the key actors in ensuring peace and stability in the Muslim world. Moreover, Azerbaijan’s concern over the escalating insecurity and conflict in various Muslim countries was underlined.

Bayramov briefed the participants about Azerbaijan’s contribution to multiculturalism and interreligious dialogue, underlining the importance of the Baku Process, which has been operating since 2008.

Bayramov thanked the OIC for the extensive and continuous support to Azerbaijan both during the occupation of its territories by Armenia, as well as in the post-conflict period. The minister also spoke about Azerbaijan’s steps in ensuring regional peace and stability.

URL: http://www.today.az/news/politics/226060.html

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