Restoration of peace and harmony in the holy mission of Azerbaijan in the South Caucasus
By Fouad Muxtar-Aqbabali
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev received Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Overchuk in Baku on October 27 ahead of his unilaterally confirmed meeting with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan in Sochi on October 31 under the auspices of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The meeting before the next trilateral summit seems logical and crucial in terms of identifying and agreeing on the issues to be discussed in Sochi in the hope of bringing the positions of Baku and Yerevan closer together in view of the eventual signing of a peace agreement by the end of the year. , and fill gaps on issues on which the parties cannot yet agree.
According to available information, the two men in Baku discussed the activities of the Azerbaijani-Russian-Armenian trilateral working group created with the aim of restoring transport and economic relations in the region regarding the implementation of the November 10 declaration. 2020.
On the same day, President Ilham Aliyev received UN Under-Secretary-General, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva (UN Geneva) Tatiana Valovaya, where the parties expressed their confidence that Azerbaijan will achieve the targets set by 2030 as part of the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
However, experts familiar with behind-the-scenes developments in the South Caucasus cite Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s October 24 working visit to Georgia as the most important of the past week.
At Georgia’s Mukhrani Castle in Mtskheta municipality, an ideal place to discuss fateful South Caucasian issues, the Azerbaijani leader, accompanied by Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, visited the “Legacy of the Karabakh Khanate” exhibition. With this decision, the Tbilisi official seems to have abandoned the balanced approach to the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict and proved whose side he is on the Karabakh issue ahead of the second anniversary of the September 27-November 10, 2020 war that has led to the liberation of the territories from the 30-year-old Armenian yoke.
This is vital in Azerbaijan’s quest for a peace deal with Armenia to finally bring peace and harmony to war-torn Karabakh and the surrounding region by rebuilding cities, districts and towns. once prosperous villages and relocating displaced people to their homes by providing them with vital infrastructure.
In Azerbaijan’s regional vision, Georgia occupies a crucial place because it can and should be conducive to Baku’s efforts to play the role of Yerevan to this end. Since the start of the Karabakh conflict, Georgia has been the only corridor for landlocked Armenia, through whose territory the pipeline carries Russian gas to resource-poor Armenia.
Azerbaijan’s strategic partnership relations with Georgia have almost reached the level of the alliance, Aliyev said in Georgia, believing that “many projects are of particular importance not only for our countries but also for the region and the region. ‘Europe as a whole’.
Ongoing processes in the region and security-related issues are at the center of the ongoing Baku-Tbilisi discussions.
“I briefed the prime minister on the situation after the second Karabakh war and the progress of peace negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan,” the president said in Georgia, adding that “after the conflict of Karabakh, the time has come for Azerbaijan and Armenia to sign a peace treaty”.
“We presented our proposals consisting of five main principles to the Armenian side. I hope that the Armenian side will also show political will and sign the peace treaty with Azerbaijan on the basis of these fundamental principles recognized by the international community. If this happens, peace will come to the South Caucasus and, at the same time, opportunities for cooperation will appear. Today, during the conversation, we also exchanged views on the start of Georgia-Azerbaijan-Armenia consultations. If the Armenian side is ready for them, we are ready too,” Ilham Aliyev reiterated, leaving no doubt that this message was clearly heard in Armenia.
Georgia is well aware of the importance of Baku and if the relations between the two nations are expressed succinctly, it would suffice to recall the statement of former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili made in Baku many years ago, s addressing the President of Azerbaijan.
“If Azerbaijan didn’t support us, I don’t know where we would be now and if we would exist at all.”
Given the current situation in Georgia, this is a wake-up call for Armenia to think twice before ignoring Azerbaijan’s strong and heartfelt call for peace in the region.
Azerbaijan is a good friend who makes the bad days much more bearable and this was true for Georgia when they faced serious risks, and Baku spared no effort to support Tbilisi. Messages of friendship and brotherhood, statements, based on facts and statistics on the high-level development of relations and the confident steps taken in the direction of raising cooperation to the level of a strategic alliance, are visible indicators of the success of the current policy.
In 1997-98, under very difficult conditions, Azerbaijan managed to build the Baku-Supsa pipeline and connect the Caspian Sea with the Black Sea through the pipeline. The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan and Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum oil pipelines, which were built later, marked the peak of cooperation. Moreover, it was a historic event in terms of founding the tripartite economic union on the example of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey.
As a result of the construction and commissioning of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, the volume of goods passing through the territory of our countries is increasing day by day. This project is an important link with the Silk Road project, and Azerbaijan had the final say in its realization, which is well known in friendly Georgia.
However, Baku and Tbilisi will not be satisfied with the successes achieved so far, and this was once again made clear during the President’s visit to Georgia. In the current circumstances, Georgia is Azerbaijan’s gateway to Europe. Over the years, the neighboring country has been the destination not only of oil and gas pipelines from Azerbaijan, but also of land and air routes.
In this regard, Azerbaijan constantly stresses the importance of Georgia. However, this cooperation is not only bilateral but also of regional importance. Many joint projects implemented are of particular importance not only for our countries but also for the region, Europe and the world as a whole.
Azerbaijan intends to increase gas exports to world markets. This year Azerbaijan will export 22 billion cubic meters, next year it will increase even more. The Strategic Energy Partnership Protocol, signed between the European Commission and Azerbaijan in July 2022, states that Azerbaijan will double its gas exports to Europe over the next five years. It is expected that in 2027 Azerbaijan’s gas exports to Europe alone will reach 20 billion cubic meters. At the same time, exports will be increased by the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline next year.
Just as Azerbaijan saved its neighbor from frost 14 years ago, it now assumes the function of warming a number of distant countries, which means a mission in the service of humanity in general. Azerbaijan is motivated by the desire to help both Georgia, Armenia and other nations in need of energy resources and the collective efforts of interested states are essential to compel Armenia to achieve this mission and to reject its militaristic policies and help establish a permanent peace in the wider region.
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