Hello and welcome to the Armenian News Network, Groong,
In this Conversations on Groong episode, we’ll be talking with two specialists from Armenia and from Azerbaijan, and explore their views and perspectives on the problems and solutions they envision for long term peace between the neighbors.
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Why is there a need to have such a discussion right now? The temperature of the post-war negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan has reached a boiling point, with Azerbaijan’s president Aliyev issuing ultimatums and demands for dates for Armenia to open “corridors” for Azerbaijan. In trying to create a more informed Armenian public about these negotiations, we hope that such discussions can clarify what the sides are saying to each other, and what the sides are hearing from each other.
This episode was recorded on Tuesday, December 14, 2021.
Since the second war in Artsakh in 2020, also known as the 44-Day war, which culminated in the signing of the November Agreement by Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia, the three countries have been negotiating the fulfillment of that agreement. The agreement contained 9 points, of which the first 5 are primarily complete, 6 and 7 are more or less in progress, but 8 and 9 continue to be deeply problematic despite intensive and contentious yearlong negotiations.
Point 8 is about the exchange of all prisoners of war (POWs). It should have been a simple and humanitarian exchange, but Azerbaijan had different ideas.
Point 9 is about opening communication and transport links between Armenia and Azerbaijan and then more widely throughout the region. Negotiations have been complex and frustrations have caused flare ups that have killed dozens more Armenian soldiers and citizens since the war ended.
What are the perspectives and stumbling blocks that have prevented peace, a year after the war ended?
To talk about these issues, we are joined by:
Dr. Benyamin Poghosyan, who is the Chairman of the Yerevan based think tank Center for Political and Economic Strategic Studies,
Dr. Anar Valiyev, who is Associate Professor at ADA University, in Azerbaijan.
Drs Poghosyan and Valiyev are members of a joint Armenia-Azerbaijan Liaison Group on confidence-building measures in support of peace in the South Caucasus, convened by the LINKS Europe Foundation with the support of the European Union.
● What happened to “Highest Level of Autonomy”?
● “Most Merciful war” in post-soviet space - lack of intent on Azerbaijan’s part for civilian killings
● Step by step opening of relations - building of trust between societies
● What does “corridor” mean?
● Why is “unimpeded” communication and transit so desirable? What is there to hide?
● Why isn’t “sovereign managed transit” acceptable with periodic, formal reviews of status, and as confidence builds between the sides, to ease back on the controls?
● Azerbaijan no longer putting pressure on Turkey to keep border closed with Armenia
● Saw hardening of Armenian stance in NK negotiations right after Football Diplomacy.
● Influence of Turkey in Azerbaijan
Recap between Hovik and Asbed:
● What did we hear in this discussion?
That concludes this Conversations On Groong episode, and we hope you found it helpful. As always we invite your feedback, you can find us on most social media and podcast platforms, or our website Groong.org.
Thanks to Laura Osborn for the music on our podcasts. Don’t forget to subscribe to our channel on Youtube, Like our pages and follow us on social media. On behalf of everyone in this episode, we wish you a good week, thanks for listening and we’ll talk to you soon.
Benyamin Poghosyan, Anar Valiyev, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Nagorno Karabakh, Artsakh, 44-Day War, War in Artsakh, Ceasefire Agreement, November Agreement, POWs, Nikol Pashinyan, Ilham Aliyev, Yerevan, Baku,