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MP: Brussels meeting start of peace process to establish security

10 April 2022 10:00 (UTC+04:00)
MP: Brussels meeting start of peace process to establish security

By Sabina Mammadli

The April 6 Brussels meeting can be considered the beginning of a peace process to establish security in the South Caucasus, MP Sevil Mikayilova has said.

The final statement of the meeting once again demonstrated that Azerbaijan’s five-article proposal has been accepted, and negotiations in the post-conflict period are actually conducted on the basis of the agenda set by Azerbaijan, the MP stressed.

She noted that holding peace talks at the EU level creates a new mechanism and format for direct talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Mikayilova added that the Brussels process, started by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and EU Council President Charles Michel, can be distinguished by its intensive dynamics.

The MP emphasized that Azerbaijan and Armenia trust the EU, which has a fairly impartial and neutral position on both sides.

"The existence of such an atmosphere of trust creates a solid foundation for advancing the peace process and normalizing Azerbaijani-Armenian relations," Mikayilova said.

She added that the meeting in Brussels, which lasted more than four and a half hours, resulted in an agreement between the heads of states to instruct the foreign ministers to start negotiations on a peace agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

"This practical decision was confirmed in a statement issued by Charles Michel as a result of the meeting. Another important point is the agreement on the establishment of the Joint Border Commission. The mandate of the commission includes delimitation of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border and ensuring stability along and near the border,” the MP stated.

She noted that overcoming the humanitarian consequences of the 30-year-old bloody conflict is of paramount importance in promoting peace and trust.

"In this sense, it is gratifying that the EU is determined to support Azerbaijan in demining, determining the fate of missing persons, as well as in construction work," she said.

According to Mikayilova, another important point in the statement is the restoration and establishment of transport and communication lines, the restoration of railways and highways, and the establishment of an economic consultation forum mechanism.

"Once again, the emphasis on the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and the start of the delimitation process will lead to the elimination of tensions on the border," she said.

Later, the MP noted the importance of the fact that the statement does not mention the term "Nagorno-Karabakh" or the remnant of the past - the OSCE Minsk Group.

Mikayilova underlined that neither the parties, nor the international organizations involved in the process, nor the OSCE itself sees its place in this process.

"The ineffective work of the OSCE Minsk Group in resolving the conflict has clearly shown that the mediation mission is an unnecessary mechanism for resolving these conflicts. The group, which has only evoked irritation with a few inappropriate statements in the post-conflict period, naturally disappeared from the negotiation table today after the resolution of the conflict," Mikayilova added.

Bringing up the words of the EU leader, she pointed out that he called the Brussels meeting an important step forward in the peace process in the South Caucasus.

"The implementation of the results in practice will confirm its effectiveness," she finalized.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and European Council President Charles Michel met in a trilateral format in Brussels on April 6.

The meeting was held for a continuation of the discussions on the situation in the South Caucasus region and the development of EU relations with both countries.

The leaders took stock of developments since their last meeting in Brussels in December 2021 and their videoconference, together with French President Emmanuel Macron, in February 2022. They reviewed progress on the implementation of undertaken commitments. The leaders discussed the recently reported tensions and reiterated the necessity of adhering fully to the provisions of the 9/10 November 2020 trilateral statement.

Both Aliyev and Pashinyan have expressed a willingness to work quickly toward a peace agreement between their countries. To that end, it was decided to instruct foreign ministers to begin work on drafting a future peace treaty that would address all of the issues.

At the same time, it was also agreed to convene a Joint Border Commission by the end of April. The Joint Border Commission's mandate will be to: delimit the bilateral border between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and ensure a stable security situation along and in the vicinity of the borderline.

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