The Joint Armenian-Azerbaijani Liaison Group on confidence-building measures in support of lasting peace in the South Caucasus (JOLIG) held its 4th plenary meeting in The Hague, the Netherlands, on Tuesday 4 July 2023. All twelve members of the Joint Liaison Group were present.
The Group exchanged views on the current state of Armenia-Azerbaijan relations, and on its work in support of the Armenia-Azerbaijan normalisation process.
Intensifying the work on the ground, and engaging the youth generation in the quest for peace.
The Joint Liaison Group agreed that over the next months it will increase its work on the ground, including through the holding of dialogue meetings in Armenia and Azerbaijan and through implementation of some of the ideas contained in their report of April 2022: “The South Caucasus from war to peace: thirty measures between now and 2030”. The Group was pleased to note that one of the proposals contained in that report: the holding of an annual youth peace summer school, is on the way to being implemented with the first summer school scheduled to be held in Kachreti, Georgia from 21-31 August with the participation of thirty young people from the region. On 4 July in The Hague JOLIG members participated in the Preparatory Meeting of the South Caucasus Youth Peace Summer School and agreed to support the initiative in every possible way.
The Group highlighted the importance of engaging the young generation in the South Caucasus to think positively and ambitiously about the future of the region – one that is free from conflict and violence, and for the young generation to be brought fully in the conversation on the future of the region. The Group hoped that the Regional Dialogue Forum (29-31 August) at the end of the forthcoming Summer School will be a good opportunity for such dialogue, not only between different nationalities, but also between different generations.
The importance of relations with the European Union in the quest for peace, security and prosperity in the South Caucasus
On 5 July 2023 in The Hague, members of the Joint Liaison Group participated in the Policy Dialogue Conference: “The South Caucasus and the European Union – addressing challenges, seizing opportunities”, organised by LINKS Europe, with the participation of diplomats, officials, experts, opinion shapers and civil society activists from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. The conference was also addressed by Toivo Klaar, EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus; Dirk Scheubel, EU Special Representative for the Eastern Partnership and Jaap Friedriks, the Special Envoy of the Netherlands for the Eastern Partnership, Elshad Iskanderov, Ambassador-at-large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan, Tigran Balayan, Ambassador of Armenia to the Netherlands, David Solomonia, Ambassador of Georgia to the Netherlands and Rahman Mustafayev, Ambassador of Azerbaijan to the Netherlands, as well as other speakers from across the region and the EU.
JOLIG members welcomed the work of the European Union in support for peace, security and prosperity in the South Caucasus and the intensification of relations between the EU and the region on different issues and at different levels. They called on all countries in the region to work together, and with the European Union. to strengthen their economic and social development, and to create a better future for all.
At the end of the meeting the members of JOLIG thanked LINKS Europe for its facilitation and organisation role that was instrumental for the success of the events in The Hague, and the European Union for its continued support for JOLIG and its work.
The following members of the Joint Liaison Group were present for the 4th Plenary Meeting in the Hague: Ahmad Alili (co-rapporteur); Mehman Aliyev; Stepan Grigoryan, Tatevik Hayrapetyan, Taron Hovhanisian, Shahla Ismayil; Gulmammad Mammadov, Gevorg Melikyan, Johnny Melikyan, Benyamin Poghosyan (Co-rapporteur), Ramazan Samadov and Anar Valiyev. The LINKS Europe team at the event was led by Dennis Sammut.
The Joint Armenian-Azerbaijani group on confidence-building measures in support of lasting peace in the South Caucasus (JOLIG) is an independent initiative facilitated by LINKS Europe and supported by the European Union.
More information about the Joint Liaison Group and its work is available on the website commonspace.eu here. For more information about the meeting in The Hague and the work of JOLIG please contact Maximiliaan van Lange (firstname.lastname@example.org)
photo: Ambassador Jaap Friedriks, the Netherlands Special Envoy for the Eastern Partnership making opening remarks at the Conference “The South Caucasus from war to peace: thirty measures between now and 2030”, held in the Hague on 5 July 2023 (picture courtesy of LINKS Europe)