Sochi meeting: Armenia was defeated, Azerbaijan's position is firm -ANALYSIS

Sochi meeting: Armenia was defeated, Azerbaijan
# 01 November 2022 17:07 (UTC +04:00)

The tripartite meeting of the leaders of Azerbaijan, Russia, and Armenia in Sochi on October 31 can be called Armenia's next diplomatic fiasco.

The proof of this fiasco is the joint statement on the results of the tripartite meeting and the points contained in the press statement of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In the final document, the term "Karabakh" or "Nagorno-Karabakh" is not used, not even a single word related to Karabakh is mentioned, as stated by President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev in a bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin before the tripartite meeting, "The Karabakh conflict has already been consigned to history. It was resolved two years ago, so there is practically nothing to discuss in this context" can be considered as a manifestation of the statement.

Putin's statement, "I must say frankly, it was not possible to agree on everything. We had to remove some parts from the text that had been previously worked out at the level of experts," suggests that the text of the final statement includes Karabakh, as well as the territories that were taken under control in Khojaly in May of this year, and on the border with Armenia in September. the demands of the Armenian side regarding the withdrawal should have been reflected. However, the insistence of the Azerbaijani side in the negotiations paid off. It can be assumed that it is for this reason that the Putin-Aliyev talks lasted more than two hours.

Armenia's fiasco did not end there. Thus, before the Sochi meeting, Pashinyan’s statement on agreeing to extend the mandate of Russian peacekeepers in Karabakh for 15-20 years was also not included in Sochi statement. It is clear that Pashinyan’s purpose with that statement either was to please Moscow, or he brought up the issue with the directive he received from Moscow. However, at the press conference at the finals of the tripartite meeting, Putin said that everything on the peacekeeping contingent has been mentioned in the statement dated November 9, 2020, and there was nothing remaining to add in this regard. Putin’s views voiced while commenting on Pashinyan’s statement regarding peacekeepers attract attention. Thus, Putin noted that the fate of the peacekeepers depends on the signing of a peace deal between Azerbaijan and Armenia, and the delimitation of the borders. So, Moscow confessed that without the consent of the official Baku, the discussions on extending the mandate of the peacekeepers would not be held. At the same time, it showed that currently, the main issue is to negotiate and act toward the normalization of relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia, as Ilham Aliyev had voiced at the bilateral meeting.
Sochi's statement did not note the return of Armenian prisoners of war, which official Yerevan demanded from all tribunes to return persons considered as military criminals by Azerbaijan, under the pretext of “block of humanitarian issues”.

One of the important points of the final document was the issue of reciprocal recognition of the territorial integrities of the states, to which the parties have expressed their consent to this. Indeed, this clause of the document is the same as the relevant clause of the document adopted in Prague.

So, not a single provision was not reflected in the joint statement aroused from the finals of the tripartite meeting. So, the Sochi meeting and the adopted statement on the conclusion of the meeting can be called the next diplomatic defeat of Pashinyan's government.

The President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev once again demonstrated his determination at the Sochi meeting, emphasized that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has remained in history, and demonstrated once again that he will not compromise the country's national interests. President Aliyev once again declared that, as he himself said, "The Armenian population living in the Karabakh region are our citizens, and we will not discuss with any international player how to organize their life in our territory." Karabakh is Azerbaijan! The second Karabakh war proved this on the field. During the occupation, no country in the world, including Armenia, recognized this so-called institution. Therefore, we never discuss issues related to our internal affairs with international organizations or with any country, regardless of its size and potential."

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