Political impasse: Armenia's obstruction to Azerbaijan's peace efforts ill-omened
The question of why Karabakh has long been an apple of discord in relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia does not need extra explanation apart from the latter's thirst for the seizure of the neighbor’s historical lands. For over a century, Armenians have been plotting unthinkable ways of seizing Karabakh though each of their attempts has always backfired and cost dearly to Azerbaijan both in terms of human lives and materially.
Notwithstanding Azerbaijan’s numerous efforts to have regional peace restored before the second Karabakh war of 2020, Armenia’s obstructionism left no other means than a military solution to the conflict. Although Armenia suffered a crushing defeat, and Azerbaijan’s victory has altered the geopolitical picture in the South Caucasus, no lasting peace has been established in the region.
Armenia is countering a peace deal despite Baku’s goodwill and is refusing to accept a five-point packet. A peace treaty at this point seems unimaginable and the reasons behind might be numerous though we are far away from listing them all and this is impossible. However, some most important ones for Armenia’s reluctance to give up territorial claims on Karabakh seem to be the backing of pro-Armenian forces behind Yerevan’s uncompromising and destructive position.
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan though repeatedly and publicly renounced claims on Azerbaijani lands, his verbal statements do not go beyond that and each time Azerbaijan submits peace proposals, they drag the process out or resort to unfounded pretexts to torpedo the overall process.
Azerbaijan upholds maintaining an elusive yet important peace, which is key for activating the process of integration of the Armenian population in Karabakh. In view of new realities on the ground, regardless of how Armenia will react in the next two years, it should be borne in mind that a shrinking, albeit pre-existing, space for discussing people-to-people reconciliation must be restored at all costs.
Armenia is actually struggling against accepting the defeat and is blinded by arrogance to digest and see the bare truth that has been shaped by the post-2020 realities.
“If Armenia does not recognize our territorial integrity, we will not recognize their territorial integrity either. Armenia and the hypocritical countries behind it should know what the result will be. They should know that no dirty plan against us will work,” the Azerbaijani president said on March 18 in Karabakh.
President Ilham Aliyev’s remark on Armenia’s misbehavior is a sharp message to those who are pushing and instigating political unrest in the region. Unfortunately, Armenia is relying on its so-called patrons, realizing that and is absolutely aware of the fact that it is an instrument in the hands of big powers.
The curiosity behind what is the reason that chums Iran and Armenia in the region can be explained through Azerbaijan's de-occupied territories, which were used for illegalities for 30 years by both malign neighbors.
By resisting the adoption of a resolution by the OSCE condemning the terror attack on Azerbaijan’s embassy in Tehran on January 27, 2023, Armenia once again showed that the policy of Iran and Armenia is based on a dangerous neighborhood, and Yerevan manipulates OSCE principles for its own favor.
Under Iran’s patronage, Armenia is ready to act insanely which contradicts the diplomatic rules. By doing so, Armenia demonstrates its belligerent stance and inability to realize that such trivial manoeuvres will change nothing for Azerbaijan.
Armenia refuses to observe its obligation
Armenia's chameleon-like political will can change according to any situation. If Armenia cannot find a patron, it means that the leadership of Armenia will have to buy time and come to terms with the current situation temporarily. Of course, this is a tradition that comes from Armenian morality.
President Ilham Aliyev’s statement at the Ankara Summit indicates the apostasy of the Armenian government.
“Although Armenia recognized Azerbaijan's territorial integrity and sovereignty in Prague and Sochi in 2022, it has not yet fully withdrawn its troops from the territory of Azerbaijan. Illegal Armenian detachments and criminal elements still remain in Karabakh.”
“Armenia also evades the obligation to open the Zangazur corridor. Therefore, Armenia flagrantly violates the statement signed on November 10, 2020, and should be held accountable.” Aliyev underscored.”
Inability to discern right from wrong
Armenia could have supported Azerbaijan in the reconstruction of ruined cities and villages rather than wasting time with its malicious political course. However, demanding territory without achieving anything by keeping Karabakh in ruins for 30 years is an example of insolence on the part of Armenia.
Unfortunately, international organizations and their representatives, who call Agdam Azerbaijan’s Hiroshima, are yet unable to clearly distinguish who is right and who is wrong. After the occupation, Azerbaijan is building 300 villages and 9 new cities from scratch as President Ilham Aliyev said at the Ankara summit.
“We are building nine new cities and initially more than 300 villages and towns from scratch. This is a rare and unprecedented model of post-conflict reconstruction by a national government using its own financial resources. In 2021-2022, the state of Azerbaijan spent about $4bn on reconstruction in liberated areas. This year, we plan to allocate at least $1.7bn.”
To recap, Karabakh is being rebuilt and IDPs are returning back to their homes, and the March 18 festivities in Talish village in Karabakh, now fully rebuilt to say welcome to former inhabitants, are proof of the determination of the Azerbaijani government to put the whole of Karabakh irrespective of the ethnicities under solid control once and for all.
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