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NATO summit marks a new beginning for the organisation

NATO summit marks a new beginning for the organisation

The NATO Summit in Madrid drew to a close on Thursday (30 June 2022) with decisions to transform and strengthen the Alliance. Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said: “The decisions we have taken in Madrid will ensure that our Alliance continues to preserve peace, prevent conflict, and protect our people and our values. Europe and North America, standing together in NATO.” NATO leaders agreed on a fundamental shift in NATO’s deterrence and defence, with strengthened forward defences, enhanced battlegroups in the eastern part of the Alliance, and an increase in the number of high readiness forces to well over 300,000. Leaders also agreed to invest more in NATO and to increase common funding. During the Summit, NATO’s closest partners Finland and Sweden were invited to join the Alliance, a significant boost to Euro-Atlantic security. Allies further agreed on long-term support for Ukraine through a strengthened Comprehensive Assistance Package.
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EU Special Representative welcomes continued efforts of Armenian and Azerbaijani practitioners towards a peaceful and prosperous future for the South Caucasus

EU Special Representative welcomes continued efforts of Armenian and Azerbaijani practitioners towards a peaceful and prosperous future for the South Caucasus

Over 40 Armenian and Azerbaijani practitioners met for a roundtable discussion, supported by the European Union (EU), in Kachreti, Georgia, on 29-30 June 2022. Together with counterparts from the EU, UN and OSCE they discussed possible scenarios of a future peaceful South Caucasus. Discussions encompassed scenarios in the fields of economy and connectivity, security, governance and cultural policies, and assessed the possible steps that can be taken by national governments, civil societies and external actors to enhance prospects of viable solutions to the many challenges confronting long-lasting peace between Armenians and Azerbaijanis. The EU Special Representative Toivo Klaar, affirmed the EU’s continuing commitment to sustainable peace and welcomed the determination of practitioners to continue their efforts to engage in dialogue, build trust and counter embedded narratives precluding not only improved Armenian-Azerbaijani relations, but a peaceful and prosperous future of the South Caucasus region as a whole. 
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Leaders of “Caspian Five” hold their sixth summit in Ashgabat

Leaders of “Caspian Five” hold their sixth summit in Ashgabat

The leaders of the five Caspian littoral states, participated in a summit meeting in the capital of Turkmenistan, Ashgabat on Wednesday (29 June). The Caspian “five” are Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan. Addressing the gathering, Russian president Vladimir Putin said: “Russia unfailingly supports expanding partnerships within the Caspian “five” – in politics, security, the economy and nature conservation, as well as many other items on the humanitarian agenda.” Putin quickly reminded his four colleagues of Russia’s first priority when it comes to the Caspian, namely the exclusion of anyone else apart from the littoral states: “At the same time, we believe that prosperity in our shared region can only be guaranteed by an unfailing commitment to the principles enshrined in the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea. The Convention stipulates the crucial provision, which is that the countries of the Caspian “five” are responsible for the Caspian region’s preservation and its sustainable development for current and future generations.”
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Joint Armenian-Azerbaijani expert group on confidence-building measures agrees to intensify efforts

Joint Armenian-Azerbaijani expert group on confidence-building measures agrees to intensify efforts

The Joint Armenian-Azerbaijani Liaison Group on Confidence-building measures in support of lasting peace in the South Caucasus (JOLIG), made up of 11 Armenian and Azerbaijani independent experts and opinion-shapers, met in Kachreti, Georgia on 27 and 28 June 2022 to review its activity, and agree on a strategy as to how its work on confidence-building measures can contribute to efforts aimed at bringing lasting peace in the South Caucasus. Participants discussed ongoing efforts aimed at establishing the right conditions for the normalisation of relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan being undertaken by the governments of the two countries with the support of international players. They called on the leadership of the two countries to remain focused and committed to this mission. The group emphasised its belief that confidence-building measures are necessary to be implemented in the current state of Armenia-Azerbaijan relations, and were indispensable as the governments of Armenia and Azerbaijan seek peaceful solutions to long lasting disputes and controversies between them.