Theme

Diplomacy

Editor's choice
News
Armenia and Azerbaijan recognise each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty

Armenia and Azerbaijan recognise each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty

After hours of negotiations, with the mediation of European Council president Charles Michel, and French president Emanuel Macron, the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan , Nikol Pashinyan and Ilham Aliyev, have taken a historic step towards lasting peace. Both countries have recognised each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty, and committed to tangible steps to establish peace and stability in the region. President Macron tweeted early this morning "Tonight, Armenia and Azerbaijan confirmed their commitment to the Charter of the United Nations and the Alma Ata 1991 Declaration through which both recognize each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty." The four leaders held two long sessions of negotiations on the margins of the summit of the European Political Community which was launched at Prague Castle on Thursday afternoon (6 October). It is also understood that a number of other decisions were taken. It was agreed that the EU will deploy on the Armenian side of the Armenia-Azerbaijan border a civilian monitoring mission, for a period of two months starting from October.

Filter archive

Editor's choice
News
The unlikely trio met in Tehran

The unlikely trio met in Tehran

A summit meeting of the leaders of Turkey, Russia and Iran took place in Tehran on Tuesday 19 July. This is an unlikely trio, three ambitious regional powers who have been brought together by circumstances. The event itself was a set-piece affair, and most of the serious work was done in the bilateral Iran-Russia, Iran-Turkey and Turkey-Russia meetings. Top of the agenda was Syria, and Turkey's determination not to allow Syria to be a springboard for Kurdish militant activity against it. Turkey has for weeks been preparing for a military operation into Syria. Turkish president, Recip Tayip Erdogan told his Russian and Iranian counterparts that he expected their full support in Ankara’s fight against “terrorists” in Syria. Both Russia and Iran have a military presence in parts of Syria mentioned as possible targets of Turkey’s new assault. “What we expect from Russia and Iran is their support for Turkey in its fight against terrorism,” Erdogan said. However, in a meeting with Erdogan on Monday (18 July), Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei told Erdogan such an offensive would be “detrimental” for the region and called for the issue to be resolved through dialogue between Ankara, Damascus, Moscow and Tehran. A 16 point statement was issued at the end of the summit which makes no reference to the imminent Turkish offensive.
Editor's choice
News
EU and Azerbaijan seal strategic partnership agreement on energy security

EU and Azerbaijan seal strategic partnership agreement on energy security

After years of uncertainty in EU-Azerbaijan relations, co-operation between the two sides has finally been put on a strategic footing with the signing in Baku on Monday (19 July) of a new "Memorandum of Understanding on a Strategic Partnership in the Field of Energy". The signing of the MOU comes at a crucial time when Europe is frantically trying to replace gas and other energy supplies from Russia, in the aftermath of the latter's invasion of Ukraine. A report on the website of the European Commission said that the memorandum signed by the two Presidents today includes a commitment to double the capacity of the Southern Gas Corridor to deliver at least 20 billion cubic metres to the EU annually by 2027. This will contribute to the diversification objectives in the REPowerEU Plan and help Europe to end its dependency on Russian gas. Based on the strengthened energy cooperation, Azerbaijan is already now increasing deliveries of natural gas to the EU, from 8.1 billion cubic metres in 2021 to an expected 12 bcm in 2022. commonspace.eu political editor said in a comment that "EU-Azerbaijan relations need to continue to be build, based on mutual respect and recognising the importance of people to people contacts for the future of the relationship. The EU on its part, especially now that the stakes are higher, needs to put more efforts in supporting lasting peace in the region. The energy agenda has its specific importance and aspects, but it cannot be seen in isolation of wider issues."
Editor's choice
Opinion
Opinion: Realism should be the basis for the Armenia-Turkey normalisation process

Opinion: Realism should be the basis for the Armenia-Turkey normalisation process

"There should be realistic expectations of what can result from ongoing discussions on the normalisation of relations between Armenia and Turkey", writes Benyamin Poghosyan in this op-ed for commonspace.eu. The potential normalisation of relations – establishment of diplomatic relations, and opening of land borders – does not mean that Armenia and Turkey will not have disagreements, contradictions, or even will not act against each other in particular circumstances. "Given the current situation in the South Caucasus, the region is far away from peace, and no one should have hopes that Armenia – Turkey normalization will solve conflicts and bring an era of peace to the region. However, in the current situation, even a contribution to regional stability is too significant an opportunity to miss."    
Editor's choice
News
Biden's visit to Saudi Arabia opens a new era in relations

Biden's visit to Saudi Arabia opens a new era in relations

It is not a coincidence that on his first trip to the Middle East since becoming US president, Joe Biden is visiting Saudi Arabia. Together with relations with Israel, relations with the Kingdom have been the cornerstone of US policy in the region. Over the last two years these relations were tested with trust between the two sides falling to its lowest level for decades. The visit appears to have succeeded in bringing relations back to a qualitatively high level. On Friday (15 July) Biden met King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. On Saturday he is due to meet with other Arab leaders at a summit that will bring together the leaders of the sic GCC countries, together with Egypt, Jordan and Iraq. A joint communique published by the Saudi Press Agency early on Saturday emphasised that the “US-Saudi partnership has been a cornerstone of regional security over decades, and affirmed that the two countries share a vision of a more secure, stable, and prosperous region, interconnected with the world,”  The document highlighted various areas of cooperation from energy security to space exploration. In the area of defense, Biden reaffirmed the US’ commitment to Saudi Arabia’s security and territorial defense, and “facilitating the Kingdom’s ability to obtain necessary capabilities to defend its people and territory against external threats” The statement said that US troops will depart from Tiran Island paving the way for it to be developed. Additionally, overflights of the Kingdom’s airspace was expanded on Friday, which the US welcomed.
Editor's choice
Opinion
Opinion: Azerbaijan boosts ties with Central Asia as region adjusts to Ukraine crisis

Opinion: Azerbaijan boosts ties with Central Asia as region adjusts to Ukraine crisis

The fall-out from the Russian invasion of Ukraine has impacted all countries across the region. Azerbaijan and the Central Asian republics have stepped up their co-operation using multiple formats. "Amid the present security challenges in the region it is high time for Azerbaijan and the Central Asian countries to deepen bonds and ensure their security and prosperity, writes Vasif Huseynov in this op-ed for commonspace.eu
Editor's choice
News
Kazakh oil to continue flowing from Novorossiysk but the damage to Russian-Kazakh relations has been done

Kazakh oil to continue flowing from Novorossiysk but the damage to Russian-Kazakh relations has been done

On July 12, a Russian court in Southern Krasnodar upheld an appeal by the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) after a previous ruling made last week by a district court ordered the oil transporter to cease operations due to ecological concerns. The initial decision led Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev to look toward new routes for Kazakh energy exports. While the decision will suit Kazakhstan’s energy sector in the short-term, the persistent instability since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is likely to result in Kazakhstan seeking to free itself from Russian dependence for the export of its energy resources in the medium to long term. For the Kremlin, Nur-Sultan’s willingness to engage with Western countries is a cause for concern and could signal the weakening of Russian hegemony in Central Asia. Kazakh oil may be flowing again from Novorossiysk but the damage to Russian-Kazakh relations has been done.
Editor's choice
News
Turkish and Armenian leaders speak on the phone in another step towards the normalisation of relations

Turkish and Armenian leaders speak on the phone in another step towards the normalisation of relations

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan have stressed the importance of normalisation of their relations to the consolidation peace in the region, according to their respective press offices. The two leaders discussed the normalisation process in a phone call on Monday (11 July), seen as an important step in the ongoing efforts. "Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Nikol Pashinyan emphasized the importance they attach to the bilateral normalization process between Turkiye and Armenia, which will also contribute to the strengthening of peace and stability in the region," a statement by the Turkish presidency said. They also expressed hope that an agreement reached in early July would be implemented soon. The Armenian leader wrote on Twitter: "We expect early implementation of agreements reached in the meeting of our Special Representatives on July 1.” At that tmeeting the two envoys agreed on the early opening of their land border to the citizens of third countries.
Editor's choice
Opinion
Biden's visit to Saudi Arabia will open a new era in relations with the Middle East

Biden's visit to Saudi Arabia will open a new era in relations with the Middle East

The president of the United States, Joe Biden, will this week visit the Middle East for what promises to be the launch of a new era in US relations with the region. Commonspace.eu will be following the visit and reporting on its importance. Late on Saturday, President Biden published an article on the Washington Post, outlining the reasons for his visit, and why it is so important. We reproduce it here in full. In the article, Biden argues that a more secure and integrated Middle East benefits Americans in many ways. "Its waterways are essential to global trade and the supply chains we rely on. Its energy resources are vital for mitigating the impact on global supplies of Russia’s war in Ukraine." The president states "We have to counter Russia’s aggression, put ourselves in the best possible position to outcompete China, and work for greater stability in a consequential region of the world. To do these things, we have to engage directly with countries that can impact those outcomes. Saudi Arabia is one of them, and when I meet with Saudi leaders on Friday, my aim will be to strengthen a strategic partnership going forward that’s based on mutual interests and responsibilities, while also holding true to fundamental American values."