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EU official eyes communications reopening with Baku, Yerevan

22 April 2022 16:27 (UTC+04:00)
EU official eyes communications reopening with Baku, Yerevan

EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the crisis in Georgia Toivo Klaar has discussed reopening of regional communications with the Azerbaijani and Armenian deputy prime ministers.

Klaar made the remarks on his official Twitter page.

"Excellent meetings yesterday [April 20] with Azerbaijani Deputy PM Shahin Mustafayev and today [April 21] with Armenian Deputy PM Mher Grigoryan about reopening of communications. Good to see a strong commitment from both sides," he wrote.

Meanwhile, Senior Fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations Asli Aydintasbas has stated that the normalization of relations in the South Caucasus region opens up space for enormous economic potential and energy cooperation, according to Trend.

She stated that the South Caucasus transport lines are not only economically important for Turkey, but also hold the key to regional stability within the region.

"Ankara is now signaling that it is open to normalization of relations with Armenia but wants to do it in lockstep with Azerbaijan, pacing it with the Armenia-Azerbaijan peace process. If regional powers can move forward with normalizing relations, it opens up space for enormous economic potential and energy cooperation," she said.

The official noted that opening the Armenian-Turkish border quadruples Turkey-Azerbaijan trade potential and energy cooperation. She added that this is a win-win situation for everyone in the region.

"The region also has the potential to tap into the resources of Turkmenistan and other Central Asian countries, creating a significant trading block," Aydintasbas added.

This arrangement is especially important given that sanctions against Russia are likely to have a negative impact on all regional players. Turkey, Armenia, and Azerbaijan can offset some of their losses, according to Aydintasbas, by opening the border with Armenia and trading directly with Azerbaijan's Nakhchivan.

"They could also create an energy corridor that can reach Europe and address, partly, Europe’s growing energy needs," she said.

The liberation of Azerbaijan's historic lands from Armenian occupation as a result of the Second Karabakh War in 2020 has created unprecedented opportunities for South Caucasus cooperation and interaction.

Today, the two countries are on a new path toward normalization of relations: transport and communication links, which have been stymied for the past 30 years of occupation, are finally being allowed to develop, and the foreign ministries are working on the drafting of a peace treaty. Following this, Turkey declared its intent to normalize relations with Armenia. The two countries' special representatives working in this area have been appointed.

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