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Opinion: Historic developments are taking place in Armenia-Azerbaijan relations, but the signing of a peace treaty will likely take a longer time

Opinion: Historic developments are taking place in Armenia-Azerbaijan relations, but the signing of a peace treaty will likely take a longer time

On May 22, the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan met in Brussels with the mediation of European Council President Charles Michel to discuss the peace process. It is worth noting that since the beginning of this year, the representatives of the two South Caucasian republics have met exclusively via the mediation of the EU, while the only Russia-mediated meeting – that of the foreign ministers held on May 12 –  took place on the sidelines of another major event and brought about no novelty in the negotiations. The Brussels summit, however, delivered some very important outcomes which, if implemented, will constitute a critical breakthrough in the peace process. The quick implementation of some of the issues agreed by president Aliyev and prime minister Pashinyan at their meeting in Brussels, can be described as truly historic, writes Vasif Huseynov in this op-ed. "But the signing of a peace treaty will likely take a longer time, and necessitate an agreement not only between Baku and Yerevan, but also between Moscow and Brussels", he adds.

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Opinion: A game-changing Aliyev-Pashinyan-Michel summit in Brussels

Opinion: A game-changing Aliyev-Pashinyan-Michel summit in Brussels

This week's summit of Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev and Armenian prime minister Nikol Pashinyan, mediated by European Council president Charles Michel, marks a growing mediating role for the EU, something which is welcomed by both Baku and Yerevan, writes Vasif Husseynov in this op-ed. There are now two separate tracks in the peace process, one led by Brussels, the other by Moscow. So far they are complimentary, and should remain so, he argues
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The process for negotiating a peace treaty between Armenia and Azerbaijan has started

The process for negotiating a peace treaty between Armenia and Azerbaijan has started

After four hours of intensive discussions in Brussels on Wednesday evening  (6 April), European Council president Charles Michel announced that the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan had agreed to instruct their foreign ministers to start work on the preparation of a peace treaty, which would address all necessary issues. "The process has started. It started tonight", president Michel told journalists. Michel earlier met separately with Armenian prime minister Nikol Pashinyan and with Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev before the three convened for their meeting. Michel described the meeting as "excellent and very productive".
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Brussels hosts important discussions between the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan

Brussels hosts important discussions between the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan

The leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan, Nikol Pashinyan and Ilham Aliyev, will today meet in Brussels together with the president of the European Council, Charles Michel. The trilateral meeting is taking place at a critical moment for the future of the South Caucasus as Armenia and Azerbaijan seek ways to build peace between them following the 44 Day Karabakh war in the autumn of 2020. It is taking place in the shadow of the Russian invasion of Ukraine which has caused the bbiggest crisis on the European continent since World War II. Michel hosted a previous meeting with Aliyev and Pashinyan on 14 December 2021, and a new format appears to be emerging for contact between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Observers are hesitant to call it a peace process yet, but the importance of the talks is considerable. This was highlighted yesterday when US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke on the phone with the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan to stress the US support for the talks. In Brussels Michel is expected to urge Pashinyan and Aliyev, with who he has built a strong personal rapport over the last year, to work together to de-escalate tensions on the border, move forward with the process of agreeing the terms of a peace agreement, and implement confidence and security building measures to support their work and help build trust at the political, military and societal levels.
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UN Secretary General says  “Mine action is an investment in humanity. It is a prerequisite for humanitarian relief efforts and the foundation of lasting peace and sustainable development.”

UN Secretary General says  “Mine action is an investment in humanity. It is a prerequisite for humanitarian relief efforts and the foundation of lasting peace and sustainable development.”

The United Nations marks 4 April as International Landmine Awareness Day.  This year, in a message on the occasion, UN Secretary General Antonio Gutteres said that the day  “reminds us how far we have come in clearing the world of explosive remnants of war – and how far we still have to go.” Gutteres pointed out that in Ukraine, the legacy of a single month of war – in the form of unexploded ordnance, landmines, and cluster munitions – will take decades to tackle, threatening lives long after the guns fall silent. In his message Antonio Gutteres also called on all states to accede without delay to the Ottawa Convention banning the production and use of landmines. "Permanent members of the Security Council in particular have a special responsibility", Gutteres said.
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Opinion
Opinion: A resumption of the Iran nuclear deal is also good for Armenia

Opinion: A resumption of the Iran nuclear deal is also good for Armenia

Reports from Vienna suggest that Iran and the world powers are close to agreeing on restoring the Iran Nuclear Deal. For a moment it appeared that the negotiations were going to get entangled in the current Ukraine crisis, but it appears that Iran has dissuaded Russia from doing so. In this op-ed for commonspace.eu Benyamin Poghosyan says a deal would be good for neighbouring countries like Armenia who are keen to exploit trade opportunities with Iran.
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European Parliament president Roberta Metsola visits war torn Kyiv in an act of solidarity with the Ukrainian people

European Parliament president Roberta Metsola visits war torn Kyiv in an act of solidarity with the Ukrainian people

The president of the European Parliament on Friday (1 April) became the most senior EU official to visit Kyiv since the Russian invasion of Ukraine started more than a month ago.  In meetings with Ukrainian president  Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and with members of the Ukrainian parliament, Roberta Metsola assured Ukrainians that the people of Europe stand with Ukraine and will help rebuild its towns and cities after the war with Russia. Metsola, who took over as the European Parliament's president in January, also said the assembly would support Ukraine's efforts to start the process of joining the European Union.  "Please believe me when I say that the European Parliament, the European Union and the people of Europe stand with Ukraine. That is why I am here today, because we stand with you," she said after arriving in the capital Kyiv.
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In an interview with commonspace.eu Armenian Deputy Foreign Minister Paruyr Hovhannisyan describes EU-Armenia relations as "very diverse, multifaceted and dynamic"

In an interview with commonspace.eu Armenian Deputy Foreign Minister Paruyr Hovhannisyan describes EU-Armenia relations as "very diverse, multifaceted and dynamic"

In November of last year Paruyr Hovhannisyan was appointed Deputy Foreign Minister of Armenia with responsibility for relations with the European Union. This week he was in Brussels where he had meetings with officials from the EU institutions. Commonspace.eu spoke with the Deputy Foreign Minister on the current state of Armenia-EU relations and prospects for the future. Hovhannissian described relations as very diverse, multifaceted and dynamic.
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Interview
GEU Podcast: Giving EU citizens a voice on foreign policy – with Dr Dennis Sammut

GEU Podcast: Giving EU citizens a voice on foreign policy – with Dr Dennis Sammut

“I think what is important is that the issue of international affairs is understood not to be an elitist sphere but something that impacts the lives of everyone in one way or another; and as a result, discussions on foreign policy need to be extended to include the wider citizenry. This is a challenge going forward and an increasingly important one.” – Dr Dennis Sammut on the latest final episode of Global Europe Unpacked