(MENAFN- Trend News Agency) BAKU, Azerbaijan, October 2
Robert Cutler, a researcher at the Canadian Institute of World Affairs, assessed the development of the South Caucasus region in connection with the first anniversary of the start of the Second Karabakh War in 2020 in his article published on the website of the New Europe media agency, Trend reports.
According to the article, a trilateral working group [between Azerbaijan, Russia, and Armenia] promote the development of the region was established at an inter-ministerial meeting on January 11, 2021 (as a consequence of point 9 of the ceasefire declaration of November 10, 2020).
“Azerbaijan supplied Armenia (although it is not obligated to do so) gas from Russia through its own national pipeline system,” Cutler wrote.
Another important aspect of development is that the ceasefire declaration calls for the opening of a corridor between Azerbaijan proper and its enclave the Autonomous Republic of Nakhichevan, and there is indeed a railway. that can be rebuilt, we read in the article.
Armenia, however, according to the article, continues to insist instead on reopening a longer and more circuitous railway line. [between Armenia and Azerbaijan] which does not go through the Zangazur corridor.
“Not only would this route take longer to travel, it would also cost more to rebuild and renovate,” Cutler added.
The article further indicated that the Turkish energy company BOTAS was interested in establishing a large physical factory on the border of the Autonomous Republic of Nakhichevan in Azerbaijan and Armenia.
“If a pipeline could be built across southern Armenia for this purpose, it would have been possible to create jobs in southern Armenia, which is in need of economic development, through the construction of a complex processing to produce refined products for export, ”the Canadian researcher. Noted.
According to him, this pipeline [through the Zangazur corridor] would have been in Armenia’s long-term interest, but Yerevan was hampered by an internal political stalemate [due to snap parliamentary election called] after the second Karabakh war.
“In the absence of a full cabinet, including a Minister of Foreign Affairs (the entire leadership of the ministry had resigned earlier), following the early parliamentary elections in Armenia called by its Prime Minister Nicol Pashinyan, the Yerevan government could not take any constructive decisions, ”Cutler said. “Faced with the delays and indecisiveness of the Armenian authorities, Azerbaijan and Turkey signed a memorandum of understanding for the construction of the Igdir-Nakhitchevan gas pipeline to supply the Nakhitchevan from Turkey.”
As the author of the article said, the most immediate and effective confidence-building measure would be to facilitate the return of Azerbaijani civilians to their homes in the liberated territories from where they were driven out by ethnic cleansing. in the early 1990s. However, in addition to the destruction of a very large number of these houses, the landmines planted by the Armenian forces before their departure from the Azerbaijani districts of Kalbajar, Lachin and Aghdam [under the trilateral statement between Azerbaijani, the Russian president, and Armenian prime minister of November 10, 2020] still threaten the return of Azerbaijani civilians, the article adds.
The international community has begun to recognize the gravity of the situation, and an increasing number of countries have stepped forward to provide funds, equipment and training for mine clearance operations, the article notes.
In addition, according to the article, the OSCE Minsk Group is outdated and has no role to play.
“The slowness of multilateral international organizations relying on consensual diplomacy cannot keep pace with developments today. What is absolutely certain is that the “Madrid Principles” are outdated. It is telling that no one, not even on the Armenian side, has seriously referred to it since the end of the war. [last November]”, added Cutler.
After more than a month of military action to liberate its territories from Armenian occupation from late September to early November 2020, Azerbaijan urged Armenia to sign the surrender document. A joint statement on the matter was made by the President of Azerbaijan, the Prime Minister of Armenia and the President of Russia.
A complete ceasefire and a cessation of all hostilities in the Karabakh conflict zone was established on November 10, 2020.
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, the Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts. The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations.
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