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Opinion: Quo Vadis Nagorno-Karabakh?

Opinion: Quo Vadis Nagorno-Karabakh?

Nikol Pashinyan delivered a significant speech to the Armenian parliament last week on the eve of the launch of negotiations on an Armenia-Azerbaijan peace treaty. In this op-ed, Benyamin Poghosyan says that his comments on the future of Nagorno-Karabakh sent shock waves across society in Armenia and in Nagorno-Karabakh itself. Poghosyan argues that if Russia manages to keep its influence in the post-soviet space after the Ukraine war, it will probably come to an agreement with Azerbaijan and keep its troops in Karabakh after 2025, extending “de - jure Azerbaijan de - facto Russia” status for Nagorno Karabakh beyond 2025, and securing the presence of Armenians in Karabakh. However, if the war in Ukraine makes Russia significantly weaker in the post-soviet space, Azerbaijan may use the peace treaty with Armenia to force Russian troops out of Karabakh successfully. In that case, no international guarantees or promises of Azerbaijan will prevent the rapid exodus of Armenians from Karabakh.   
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Germany ponders its future role in the Sahel

Germany ponders its future role in the Sahel

Germany’s minister of foreign affairs Annalena Baerbock is visiting the Sahel ahead of a government decision on extending the Bundeswehr’s mission in the region. Amidst renewed political instability and terrorist activity in the Sahel, Baerbock must decide whether German troops will continue their commitment to MINUSMA - the UN peacekeeping mission in the region – and the EUTM, the European Union Training Mission. 300 German soldiers participate in the EUTM mission in Mali, while approximately 1000 soldiers are stationed there as part of MINUSMA. However, beyond the terrorist threat in the region, which has already caused 2.1 million internal displacements in the past 8 years according to the UN, it is the war in Ukraine which could have the most direct repercussions in West Africa. Ukraine, the world’s fifth-largest exporter of wheat, is currently incapable of delivering wheat flour to the Sahel region, causing food insecurity for millions of people.
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Pashinyan: "The peace agenda has no alternative for us, despite all the difficulties and hardships"

Pashinyan: "The peace agenda has no alternative for us, despite all the difficulties and hardships"

In a historic speech in front of parliament, Armenian prime minister Nikol Pashinyan on Wednesday (13 April) analysed the options in front of Armenia as it prepares to enter into negotiations with Azerbaijan on the signing of a peace agreement. In his speech Pashinyan spoke at length and in detail about the dilemmas he faced before the 44 day Karabakh war as to whether or not to make concessions and return territories to Azerbaijan. Pashinyan admitted that his mistake was not to recognise the inevitability of doing so, and to having, like previous Armenian leaders, succumbed to the Armenian narrative of the situation around Nagorno-Karabakh. In his speech Pashinyan hinted that Armenia may now be ready to recognise the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan as had been requested by Azerbaijan as a precondition for starting the negotiations on a peace treaty, saying that de jure it had done so in 1992. EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus, Toivo Klaar, in a tweet described the speech of the Armenian prime minister as "forward looking". He added that "many challenges remain on the road to a comprehensive settlement but it is important to move forward". Klaar added that Armenia has the EU's support in the search for just peace.