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Azerbaijan’s political, diplomatic successes in 2021

30 December 2021 10:00 (UTC+04:00)
Azerbaijan’s political, diplomatic successes in 2021

By Vugar Khalilov

The outgoing year 2021 has been marked with a number of successes that Azerbaijan gained in the military, political and diplomatic spheres. The country strengthened its positions in the said areas and managed to protect national interests in 2021.

Aggressor's international exposure

Over the past year, Baku masterfully covered the large-scale war crimes, vandalism and destructions committed by Armenia in Azerbaijan’s former occupied lands for almost 30 years, as well as during last year's 44-day war, achieving international exposure of the aggressor.

Azerbaijan provided comprehensive and objective information to the world community by organizing the visits of foreign officials, parliamentarians, well-known media and non-governmental organizations, representatives of religious communities to its liberated territories.

Furthermore, the government actively worked on the bitter consequences of Armenia's refusal to provide maps for the mined areas in the liberated lands. The Foreign Ministry presented a special draft resolution to the UN in this regard, which put severe pressure on Yerevan and forced it to hand over some of the mine maps to Azerbaijan through the mediation of the United States, Russia and the European Union.

Armenia's attempts to label saboteurs and terrorists arrested for provocative behavior as "prisoners of war" after the signing of the trilateral ceasefire deal on November 10, 2020, were proved unfounded. However, proceeding from the principles of humanism, Azerbaijan returned over a large number of detained Armenian servicemen to Yerevan.

Azerbaijan also took practical steps within the legal framework to bring Armenia to international courts such as the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The ICJ request to Armenia to take urgent measures to prevent the Azerbaijanis' rights from being violated can be considered as the country’s another diplomatic success.

The projects - Karabakh.Center, the Karabakh Memorial Internet resource, as well as WhereisKarabakh.com website - were launched to immortalize the memory of civilians killed by Armenia in the 44-day war.

Diplomatic endeavors

The appropriate measures taken by the Azerbaijani army forced Armenia to agree on the delimitation and demarcation of the state borders with Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan's political, diplomatic and military activities after the 44-day war (2020) led the world's superpowers and main international organizations to accept the new political reality in the region.

As a result of Azerbaijan’s diplomatic endeavors, leading international states and organizations supported the Azerbaijani-Armenian negotiations on the delimitation and demarcation of borders, the solution of humanitarian problems, and the restoration of communications.

Following the trilateral meetings on January 11 in Moscow, on November 26 in Sochi and on December 15 in Brussels with the mediation of Russian President Vladimir Putin and EU Council President Charles Michel respectively, Yerevan acknowledged the inevitability of practical steps to restore communications in the region.

The first meeting of the Azerbaijani, Armenian, Iranian, Russian and Turkish deputy foreign ministers was held in Moscow on December 10 to establish the regional platforms "3 + 3", as a result of the joint initiative made by Azerbaijani and Turkish presidents for creating stability and restoring communications in the region.

Contrary to Yerevan's expectations, Russia and France, as well as the European Union accepted the new geopolitical realities shaped by the November 10, 2020, trilateral statement following Azerbaijan’s military victory in the 44-day war.

The signing of the Shusha Declaration on Allied Relations between Azerbaijan and Turkey on June 15 during Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to Shusha opened a new page in bilateral relations as one of the most important political events of the year.

President Aliyev’s visit to Russia (January, July and November), to Turkey to participate in the 8th Summit of the Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States (November), to Turkmenistan to take part in the 15th Summit of the Economic Cooperation Organization (November), to Brussels, Belgium to attend the 6th Summit of the EU Eastern Partnership (December) further strengthened Azerbaijan’s position in foreign policy during the year.

Aliyev’s meeting with the World Economic Forum Chief Borge Brende (April), as well as his video address to the closing ceremony of the 74th session of the World Health Assembly - the main decision-making body of the World Health Organization (May), and the 76th session of the UN General Assembly, were important in terms of promoting Azerbaijan's anti- pandemic activities in the world.

On December 16, 2021, the UN General Assembly adopted the resolution on "Ensuring affordable, timely and universal access to COVID-19 vaccines", which was proposed by Azerbaijan as a leader of the Non-Aligned Movement. This was another international success that strengthened Azerbaijan’s position in the world.

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