Peace in South Caucasus to be restored only if Armenia leaves occupied lands, expert says

Peace in the South Caucasus will be restored only if Armenia eventually makes the right decision and leaves the occupied Azerbaijani lands, Guram Markhuliya, President of the Caucasus International Center for the Study of Geohistory and Geopolitics, said in an interview with Azernews.

“Armenia is not a country where a change of power may lead to a change in the foreign policy. However, I consider that the Armenians will eventually make the right decision and leave the occupied Azerbaijani lands. Only in this case, there will be peace in the South Caucasus,” he stressed.

Analyzing the results of the Moscow meeting of Azerbaijani, Armenian and Russia FMs in mid-April, the expert said that to resolve a conflict, joint participation of its both parties is required. He noted that in this case, the Moscow meeting was a pure program meeting and no one expected the sides to move towards the settlement of the conflict.

Markhuliya stressed that the topic of discussion did not unite any of the parties represented.

As for the Pashinyan’s statement about involving the puppet Karabakh authorities in the negotiations, the expert noted that even with their involvement, Armenia will continue to delay the conflict resolution.

Markhuliya also commented on the Armenian Defense Minister’s statement about “moving military operations to the territory of Azerbaijan”. The expert said that such a rhetoric of the Armenian military leadership causes ironic laugh. Markhulia stressed that such speech strategy is primarily aimed at calming its own population.

Speaking about the anniversary of the velvet revolution in Armenia, the expert noted that the goals of this revolution were not realized.

Armenia and Azerbaijan fought a lengthy war that ended with signing of a fragile ceasefire in 1994. Since the war began, Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan’s territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and over 1 million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities.

While the OSCE Minsk Group acted as the only mediator in resolution of the conflict, the occupation of the territory of the sovereign state with its internationally recognized boundaries has been left out of due attention of the international community for years.

Until now, Armenia ignores four UN Security Council resolutions on immediate withdrawal from the occupied territory of Azerbaijan, thus keeping tension high in the region.

By Abdul Kerimkhanov

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