Azerbaijan, Armenia move towards peace in S Caucasus
Following an important development on the way leading to the lasting peace in the South Caucasus between Azerbaijan and Armenia, there is new hope in the region for ending the 200-year feud between the neighbours. On 7 December, negotiations between the Administration of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Office of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia reached an important agreement. The sides agreed to take tangible steps to build confidence between the two countries.
It is important to recall that until today Azerbaijan, under the leadership of the head of the country President Ilham Aliyev, has done tremendous work to achieve sustainable peace in the South Caucasus. As the proverb goes, every cloud has a silver lining. Despite the stones thrown from different directions of the geopolitical world, Azerbaijan was able to hold back the onslaught of aggression, propaganda, and slander and achieved its goals.
Having agreed among themselves on the principles of humanism and based on qualities of goodwill, Azerbaijan released 32 Armenian servicemen. It should be noted that the list excludes and cannot include the leaders of the separatist regime who committed war crimes against humanity, such as Arayik Harutyunyan, Bako Sahakyan, Arkady Ghukasyan, Ruben Vardanyan, Vagif Khachaturyan and Alesha Khosrovyan.
In its turn, Armenia, on the principles of humanism and goodwill, releases two Azerbaijani servicemen. In addition, as a kind gesture, Armenia withdraws its candidature to the 29th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP29) in favour of Azerbaijan's candidature.
Thus, we can happily state that the first bricks have been laid on the way to building a lasting peace between the two countries in the South Caucasus. Numerous provocations and proposals by international communities to mediate failed, and in the end, the parties themselves concluded that matters should be resolved without mediators.
Western structures and organisations that nurture hatred and enmity towards the South Caucasus and the Islamic world in recent decades have made great efforts and actions to consolidate this ideology in the minds of society. Behind the curtain, the main instigators of propaganda of Islamophobia and hatred towards Azerbaijan are always hidden.
Now the world can take a sane look at the circumstances of the last months, where anti-Azerbaijani statements were propagated and resolutions were adopted against Azerbaijan. President Ilham Aliyev's speech at the "Garabagh: back home after 30 years. Accomplishments and challenges" forum reinforces the truth of what he said.
The reconstruction works being carried out in the liberated territories will soon possibly welcome not only Azerbaijani IDPs from the First Garabagh War but also the Armenians. At the forum, Ambassador Matthew Bryza asked the President a question regarding the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, its restoration, the return of Azerbaijani IDPs and the return of the Armenian population.
In his response to the question, the President reminded that after the end of the Second Garabagh War, Azerbaijan repeatedly suggested and stated that Azerbaijan considers the Armenians living in Garabagh as its citizens.
These citizens (Armenians) were manipulated by the separatists and perceived the word reintegration with fear. The only thing they had to do was to apply for Azerbaijani citizenship, but they refused due to the pressure exerted by the separatist clan.
At the moment, there is a special electronic website for acquiring Azerbaijani citizenship, which many Armenians have already applied for. Azerbaijanis do not hate Armenians, despite the bloody past that the separatists brought to the territory of Azerbaijan, and wish peace and prosperity to all neighbours of the South Caucasus.
Organisations that froze for a long period and left for later important issues in solving conflict situations have not justified themselves. The UN and the EU are mostly corrupt and promote the ideology and world order established by the ruling elite of the Western countries without considering anyone.
That is why the President was asked a question at the forum about the possibility of the Organisation of Turkic States becoming a security alliance against foreign forces, a kind of NATO of Turkic states.
With great potential, great geographical coverage, and huge energetic resources, which today more than ever are a matter of national security and a source of independent existence, it is important to strengthen the alliance of Turkic States.
"Our geography (OTS) covers an area from Europe to Asia and even to East Asia. We already have some transport infrastructure that can be utilised now and we are doing so. We have developed a friendly environment along the East-West corridor route. So why not join our efforts?"
Thus, in the end, it was proved once again that no foreign forces and international organizations either cannot solve any problems or do not want to solve them. Besides, it demonstrated that countries can solve their problem without any mediators. So, since Armenia has always evaded direct talks without mediators, we hope that they discern right from wrong, understand where they made a blunder and will continue this initiative and at last permanent peace will come to the region.
Abbas Ganbay is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @Noend33
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