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Monday May 27 2024

Armenia, Azerbaijan agree on principles of peace agreement

27 March 2024 17:19 (UTC+04:00)
Armenia, Azerbaijan agree on principles of peace agreement
Ulviyya Shahin
Ulviyya Shahin
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Armenia and Azerbaijan have taken a significant step towards resolving their long-standing conflict by agreeing upon the principles of a peace agreement. This development marks a crucial milestone in the efforts to bring stability to the South Caucasus region, which has been marred by decades of conflict and tension. The agreement, reached during a quadrilateral meeting in Prague on October 6, 2022, signals a willingness from both sides to engage in constructive dialogue and pursue peaceful solutions.

The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Garabagh region has been one of the most protracted and contentious disputes in the post-Soviet era. The region, located within Azerbaijan's internationally recognised borders, has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces since the early 1990s, leading to a prolonged stalemate and occasional outbreaks of violence.

However, recent years have seen renewed diplomatic efforts aimed at finding a lasting resolution to the conflict. The 2020 Garabagh war, which resulted in significant territorial gains for Azerbaijan, provided an impetus for both parties to reengage in negotiations under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs.

The announcement of the agreed-upon principles of the peace agreement by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan signifies a significant breakthrough in the peace process. The involvement of international mediators, including France, adds credibility to the negotiations and underscores the importance of multilateral diplomacy in resolving complex conflicts.

During the meeting with Ann-Lorens Petel, head of the France-Armenia Friendship Group, Prime Minister Pashinyan emphasised the importance of dialogue and compromise in reaching a sustainable peace agreement. The willingness of both Armenia and Azerbaijan to engage in constructive discussions bodes well for the prospects of lasting peace in the region.

One of the key issues discussed during the meeting was the opening of regional communications in the South Caucasus. The establishment of transport and communication links has long been seen as a potential confidence-building measure between Armenia and Azerbaijan, facilitating economic cooperation and people-to-people contacts. By addressing this issue within the framework of the peace agreement, both parties demonstrate their commitment to addressing the underlying grievances and building trust for the future.

The agreement on the principles of the peace agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan represents a significant step forward in the quest for peace and stability in the South Caucasus. While challenges remain and the road to a comprehensive settlement may be long and arduous, the willingness of both parties to engage in dialogue and compromise offers hope for a better future. It is imperative for the international community to support and facilitate the peace process, ensuring that the gains made thus far are consolidated and built upon for the benefit of all stakeholders in the region.

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