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The European Union and the Azerbaijan-Armenia Conflict: Between Mediations and Obstacles


The establishment of territorial sovereignty for each State in the world is a necessity, it is in this regard that Azerbaijan, by regaining control of Nagorno-Karabakh in September after a lightning offensive, can argue that it was seeking to restore its territorial sovereignty lost during the previous conflict. The reconquest could be seen as a legitimate response to the unacceptable status quo situation that had prevailed in the region for many years, and as a manifestation of the international right of each country to guarantee its territorial integrity. Regional stabilization is an essential element for Azerbaijan. The reconquest of Nagorno-Karabakh could be interpreted as an attempt to restore regional balance and put an end to a persistent source of tension. In this light, Azerbaijan could argue that a tough stance is necessary to ensure stability and security in the region.

Additionally, Azerbaijan’s recent decision to decline participation in normalization talks with Armenia, scheduled to take place in the United States in November, has heightened tensions. Azerbaijan invokes a “partial” position from Washington, thus highlighting the complexity of alliances in the region. Baku’s refusal to engage in negotiations is a direct response to the events of September 19, suggesting that the current situation requires tangible progress on the path to peace to restore normalization of relations.

 American Response and Risks of Loss of Mediation

The reaction of the US national security adviser, Mr. O’Brien, underlines the firm stance of the United States towards Azerbaijan after the events of September. The cancellation of high-level visits and condemnation of Baku’s actions highlight the United States’ determination to push for concrete progress toward peace. However, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry’s response, suggesting that this unilateral approach could cause the United States to lose its role as mediator, highlights the geopolitical risks inherent in this situation.

Involvement of the European Union and Multiple Obstacles

The rounds of negotiations between Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, mediated by the European Union, reflect the complexity of the situation. However, Ilham Aliyev’s refusal to participate in negotiations in Spain citing France’s biased position raises questions about the EU’s ability to play a neutral mediation role. The initially planned presence of the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, accompanied by French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, underlines the importance of European mediation.

Humanitarian Challenges and Prospects for a Peace Agreement

The territorial conflict around Nagorno-Karabakh, the massive population displacements, and the flight of more than 100,000 Armenians to Armenia highlight the major humanitarian challenges linked to the conflict. Nikol Pashinian, Armenian Prime Minister, reaffirms Yerevan’s desire to sign a peace agreement in the coming months, despite current difficulties. The leaders of the two former Soviet republics have raised the possibility of a comprehensive peace deal by the end of the year, but this will largely depend on the resolution of geopolitical obstacles and the willingness of all parties to agree. engage constructively in the negotiation process.

Priority to National Sovereignty

Azerbaijan’s attitude towards international mediations, including distrust towards mediation perceived as “biased” by France, can be interpreted as the protection of national sovereignty. This attitude may reflect the belief that crucial decisions related to conflict resolution should be made independently, thereby preserving national autonomy and avoiding harmful external interference.

The deep complexity of the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia. The dynamics at play, shaped by passionate domestic reactions, diverse international interventions and complex regional implications, create an ever-changing geopolitical landscape. The humanitarian challenges resulting from the conflict, such as massive population displacements, highlight the urgency of concerted action.

It is clear that mediation in this sensitive region must adapt to a nuanced reality, taking into account deep national sensitivities, the requirements of international diplomacy and glaring humanitarian imperatives. The search for a lasting resolution requires a delicate balance between these various factors, and the obstacles to mediation highlight the need for a strategic and inclusive approach.

Ultimately, the quest for peace in Nagorno-Karabakh requires a comprehensive vision and the willingness of all parties involved to transcend differences, demonstrate flexibility and resolutely engage in constructive negotiations. The future of the region will depend on the ability of domestic and international actors to skillfully navigate these complexities to forge a path toward a lasting and peaceful resolution.

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