What to Expect the Next Bayramov & Mirzoyan Meeting? (Op-Ed)
by Naghi Ahmadov
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan, Foreign Ministers Ararat Mirzoyan and Jeyhun Bayramov will meet in Geneva, Switzerland on October 2, 2022. The ministers are expected to discuss issues related to the normalization process between the two countries in an agreed format. These topics include the opening of communications, delimitation, border security, as well as the issues of anti-personnel mines and missing persons, which are part of the humanitarian agenda.
In accordance with the agreement of the leaders of the two states in Brussels on August 31 of this year, foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia charged to meet and conduct negotiations on the draft texts of the peace treaty governing inter-state relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan within one month.
It should be recalled that Ararat Mirzoyan and Jeyhun Bayramov met for the last time on September 19 within the framework of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly through the mediation of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
It is noteworthy that after Armenia’s conducting large-scale provocations on the night of 12–13 September, high-level diplomatic contacts between the two countries have intensified. Aside from the meeting between Bayramov and Mirzoyan, Presidential aide Hikmat Hajiyev met up with Secretary of Security Council of Armenia Armen Grigoryan on September 27. The talks were hosted by US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan. The sides called the results of the meeting effective. Hajiyev said that Baku highly appreciates the efforts of US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan to organize negotiations between the delegations of Azerbaijan and Armenia at the White House in Washington. According to Hajiyev, the peace treaty between Baku and Yerevan, the issues of border delimitation, and the opening of transport lines in the South Caucasus were discussed at the meeting. The main aspect here is the continuation of efforts on the peace agenda within a specific time frame. In his turn, Grigoryan said that during the meeting, daily topics related to the solution of the Karabakh problem, as well as the establishment of peace in the region were discussed. Grigoryan also noted that there is currently an issue of peace agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
On the eve of the next high-level meeting, there is a high probability of new provocations by Armenia side, which have already become a tradition. In this regard, the leadership of Armenia tries to aggravate the situation in the region to put forward reservations to the negotiation process and to avoid sitting at the negotiation table. Armenia, as before and now is trying to disrupt the negotiations. In particular, it should be noted that Armenia’s announcement of increase military spending by 46% in 2023 is a serious blow to efforts to normalize relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
In contrast, Azerbaijan, which is the initiator of the peace agenda, is set up constructively aimed at achieving a lasting peace in the South Caucasus. In other words, Azerbaijan, rapidly working on large-scale reconstruction in the de-occupied territories, is not interested in creating tension in the region.
Naghi Ahmadov, a senior fellow at the Center of Analysis of International Relations (AIR Center) especially for News.Az