Azerbaijan to Resume Peace Talks with Armenia

Global Village Space
Feb 26 2024

Azerbaijan announces plans to resume face-to-face peace negotiations with Armenia, aiming to address longstanding territorial disputes, despite accusations of bias and provocation from France and alleged tensions spurred by EU actions in Armenia.

Azerbaijan on Monday said talks on a peace agreement with neighboring Armenia will resume soon.

“Face to face negotiations regarding the peace agreement are planned to be held with the Armenian delegation in the coming days,” Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov told reporters in Baku.

Expressing that work on a draft continued despite a break, Bayramov said President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan decided to restart the process after talks on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference earlier this month.

Bayramov said actions of France serve to aggravate the situation. Baku has accused France of being biased towards Yerevan during peace talks, and has also charged it of inciting conflicts in the Caucasus by arming Armenia.

Relations between the two former Soviet republics have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.

Azerbaijan liberated most of the region during the war in the fall of 2020, which ended with a Russian-brokered peace agreement and opened the door to normalization.

Baku initiated an anti-terrorism operation in Karabakh last September to establish constitutional order, after which illegal separatist forces in the region surrendered.

The Azerbaijani diplomat said many institutions and political centers are worried about Azerbaijan’s restoration of its territorial integrity and sovereignty, adding that actions of the EU mission in Armenia created tensions on the border.

Ara Abramyan provided the UN & UNESCO historical documents confirming the right of Armenians to Nagorno-Karabakh

Feb 25 2024
YEREVAN, ARMENIA,  /24-7PressRelease/ – In 2008, the Institute of International Law, with the support of businessman and philanthropist Ara Abramyan, Founder of the Ararat Alliance Forum, published a multi-volume historical study "Nagorno-Karabakh in International Law and World Politics: Documents and Commentaries."

The study provides indisputable historical evidence that Nagorno-Karabakh has not only been a primordially Armenian land for thousands of years, but also reasonable confirmation that, from an international legal point of view, it never belonged to Azerbaijan.

During the collapse of the USSR, the people of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic voted in a referendum in 1988 for their independence, and for 30 years the NKR existed as a de facto independent, although not recognized, state.

The modern Republic of Azerbaijan, during the collapse of the USSR, in 1991 declared itself the legal successor not of Soviet Azerbaijan, into which Vladimir Lenin included Nagorno-Karabakh, but of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (ADR), created in 1918 and which existed for less than two years.

There are documents in the UN archives indicating that the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic was at one time denied admission to the League of Nations precisely because it claimed illegal rights to Karabakh, which, as part of the territory of Armenia, is mentioned in the reference note of James Eric Drummond, Secretary General of the League of Nations, March 1921.

It follows from it that the League of Nations on the issue of the territorial affiliation of Karabakh considered this region as a territory originally belonging to Armenia. Accordingly, following the review of the Armenian-Azerbaijani territorial delimitation by the League of Nations, it was confirmed that independent Azerbaijan has no rights to the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Ara Abramyan, a long-time UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador since 2003, also drew the attention of the UN and UNESCO to the critical threat looming over the cultural and historical heritage sites of Nagorno-Karabakh. The enclave is a real open-air museum, thanks to more than 500 unique monuments of ancient and Christian culture located on its territory. (

Azerbaijan announced plans to create a working group to change the identity of these monuments – the so-called "restoration of Albanian religious temples", i.e. Albanization of Armenian churches by erasing ancient Armenian inscriptions from them.

"This, in essence, is an act of state vandalism, comparable in its cynicism to the Taliban's shooting of the Bamiyan Buddha statues in Afghanistan, and a civilizational challenge to all humanity and international institutions, including the UN," Abramyan emphasized. "This is also a direct disregard for a number of international documents, including the requirement issued by the International Court of Justice on December 7, 2021 for Azerbaijan to take the necessary measures to prevent all acts of vandalism committed against the Armenian cultural heritage and to punish the perpetrators." (

A clear illustration of how Baku deals with the cultural heritage of the Armenian people after their expulsion from its historical lands is the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic, part of Azerbaijan, where by 2007 the destruction of the cultural and historical trace was finally completed and not only representatives of the Armenian people remained , which made up 75 percent of the population, but also Armenian temples, museums, necropolises and cemeteries. The same thing happened with 105 once-Armenian-populated villages, whose names were replaced with Azerbaijani ones, and all traces of centuries-old Armenians living there were erased from the face of the earth.

On January 4, 2024 the US State Department added Azerbaijan to the US List of Religious Freedom Offenders, citing its treatment of Christians, Muslims, and ethnic Armenians displaced from the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave.

"Considering that the issue of preserving the Armenian factor and world cultural heritage in Nagorno-Karabakh is not so much a matter of politics or geopolitics, but rather a universal human problem, a matter of a fair world order, preservation and transmission to future generations of the cultural code of humanity," Abramyan wrote in his address to the Secretary General UN, "I request that a special UN conference be convened with the participation of historians and international law experts to consider the historical and legal right of Armenians to sovereignty in Nagorno-Karabakh, and to discuss mechanisms of international law to protect the cultural Christian heritage of Nagorno-Karabakh from the barbaric actions of the Baku regime."

THE ARARAT ALLIANCE FORUM ( is an Armenian NGO conducting historical, economic, strategic and cultural studies to help advance democratic development and strengthen national security of Armenia. The First Ararat Alliance Forum was held in June 2022 in Yerevan.

Armenpress: Canada announces new sanctions against Russia


YEREVAN, FEBRUARY 23, ARMENPRESS. Canada announced new sanctions against Russia on Feb. 23, targeting 10 individuals and 153 companies, the Canadian foreign ministry said.

Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly announced the new sanctions against Russia in co-ordination with the United States and the United Kingdom Friday morning.

Earlier Friday, the U.S. announced sanctions targeting more than 500 people and entities and the U.K. added 50 to its own list.

Kremlin seeks clarity from Armenia after it freezes participation in Russian-led security bloc Reuters

Feb 23 2024
MOSCOW, Feb 23 (Reuters) – The Kremlin said on Friday that Russia plans to contact Armenia after Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said Yerevan had frozen its participation in the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) because the pact had failed the country.
Pashinyan made the comments in an interview broadcast on Thursday.
He has in recent months expressed discontent over Armenia's longstanding ties with Russia and said Armenia could no longer rely on Russia to ensure its defence needs. He has also suggested its membership of the CSTO is under review.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the defence ministry-owned Zvezda television channel on Friday that Moscow needed more details from Armenia.
"The Armenian side has not taken any official action in this regard," he said, referring to the purported freezing of its CSTO participation.
"We intend to get in touch with our colleagues and clarify the meaning of these statements."
Other ex-Soviet members of the CSTO include Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
"The CSTO secretariat has not received any statements from Yerevan about the suspension of its membership," the Interfax news agency reported on Friday, citing the organisation's press service.
"As for the thesis about the freezing of participation (in the bloc), apparently, it refers to the Republic of Armenia's non-participation in a number of events held by the organisation recently."

An Armenian war would escalate tensions with Iran By Parker Miller February 20, 2024 2:27 pm

Feb 20 2024
2:27 pm

Armenia, the world’s oldest Christian nation, is on the precipice of a losing war against neighboring Azerbaijan that threatens to pit Iran against the West.

In the latest bout of tensions between the two hostile neighbors, Azerbaijan killed four Armenian soldiers on Friday. Armenian officials have taken this to be a sign that Azerbaijan is preparing for a large-scale invasion of their lands.

In the following days, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and American Secretary of State Antony Blinken attempted to mediate between the two countries and come to a peaceful resolution. However, all sides doubt that the successive meetings have changed Azerbaijan’s resolve.

The tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan stem from modern and ancient rivalries: The two hate each other passionately on a fundamental level.

The Kingdom of Armenia was the first nation to convert to Christianity, preceding even its historic ally, the Roman Empire. Azerbaijan, on the other hand, was a product of Islamic military expansion northward of Arabic and Near Eastern lands several hundred years later. 

The two regions naturally became historic rivals, a feud that was expanded upon by territorial claims over the contentious Nagorno-Karabakh region. Several wars have been fought since the fall of the Soviet Union to determine the fate of this Armenian-populated autonomous region. 

Armenia first militarily solidified its claim over Nagorno-Karabakh in 1991 in a bloody victory over Azerbaijan. Its territorial gains were largely thanks to the backing of the newly reformed Russian Federation, compared to the military support for Azerbaijan from Turkey. 

Since then, and especially since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Moscow has grown increasingly negligent of Armenian interests and has failed to back it against Azerbaijani aggression. Last September, when Russia suffered a heavy setback at Ukraine’s hands, Azerbaijan took advantage of the moment and attacked several Armenian border points, claiming them and Nagorno-Karabakh for itself. 

An attack on Armenia now risks deteriorating the remaining structural integrity of Caucasus and Near Eastern relations. Armenia rests in one of the most uncomfortable political positions on the planet.

Positioned geographically on either side of its borders are Turkey and Azerbaijan. These two share a historical connection as parts of the former Ottoman Empire, religious brotherhood as old Islamic regions, and kinship as ethnic Turkic peoples. Turkey has been key in pressuring landlocked Armenia and isolating it economically from the rest of the developed world. 

Armenia has long relied on Russia as a defensive ally. They inherit some of the oldest denominations of the Orthodox Christian faith. They also bond in their abhorrence to Turkey due to its Armenian genocide in the early 20th century and the many Russo-Turkish wars that have taken place over several hundred years. 

The West has effectively sided with Azerbaijan due to its holdings in the Caspian Sea, which are rich in natural oil reserves. Europe sees it as a good alternative to Russian oil, which it cut itself off from through sanctions over Ukraine, and several gas companies own major investments in Azerbaijan. Israel trades military equipment to Azerbaijan for its oil as well. 

Because these factors, combined with Russia’s negligence, have effectively isolated Armenia, it turns to its only alternative friend: Iran. Tehran is at odds with Azerbaijan due to its large, possibly insurrectionist, Azerbaijani population on their shared northern border. They fear the common threats of European, Israeli, and Azerbaijani hostility that may bring them together. 

There is an easy solution to this: The United States can present itself as the alternative. Make clear that friendship with the Christian nation is our goal, and not only can Armenia be saved from imminent destruction and being tied to Iran, but America can gain another geopolitical stronghold against Iran as tensions continue to grow.

If Armenia is further ignored and neglected by the world, it may be the final straw that leads to direct military involvement in Western Asia. 

Parker Miller is a 2024 Washington Examiner winter fellow. 

Paths to Peace: Numan Kurtulmuş’s Visit to Baku Amidst Azerbaijan-Armenia Treaty Talks

Feb 21 2024
Rizwan Shah
As the sun rises over the horizon, casting a golden hue across the ancient and modern streets of Baku, Azerbaijan, a significant event unfolds that could potentially shape the future of peace in the South Caucasus region. It's not just any diplomatic visit; this one carries the weight of hope and the potential for healing long-standing wounds between neighboring nations. Numan Kurtulmuş, Chairman of the Grand National Assembly of Türkiye, steps onto Azerbaijani soil, not just as a political figure, but as a symbol of solidarity and support in a region riddled with historical complexities.

At the heart of Kurtulmuş's visit is his participation in the 14th Plenary Session of the Asian Parliamentary Assembly. This gathering is not merely a routine diplomatic engagement; it is a testament to the collective desire of Asian nations to foster dialogue, understanding, and cooperation. Kurtulmuş's presence in Baku underscores Türkiye's role as a pivotal player in regional politics, especially at a time when Azerbaijan is navigating the delicate process of peace treaty proposals with Armenia. The significance of this assembly, therefore, cannot be overstated, as it represents a convergence of efforts aimed at securing a stable and prosperous future for the region.

The backdrop of Kurtulmuş's visit is painted with the hopeful yet challenging process of peace negotiations between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Recent developments have seen Azerbaijan submit a new set of proposals concerning a peace treaty to Armenia, marking another step in the arduous journey towards reconciliation. This initiative, mirrored by Armenia's earlier submission of its proposals to Azerbaijan, signifies a mutual acknowledgment of the necessity for dialogue and compromise. The forthcoming meeting between the foreign ministers of the two nations is eagerly anticipated, as it promises to be a critical juncture in the quest for a lasting peace.

The diplomatic arena surrounding the Azerbaijan-Armenia peace process is further enriched by expressions of international support. Notably, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia's congratulatory message to President Ilham Aliyev following his election victory underscores the global interest in Azerbaijan's stability and prosperity. Such gestures of goodwill are pivotal, as they contribute to an environment conducive to peace negotiations. Moreover, the scheduled court hearing for the individual responsible for a terrorist act against Azerbaijan's Embassy in Iran serves as a reminder of the challenges that lie on the path to peace. It highlights the importance of justice and accountability as foundational elements of lasting reconciliation.

As the sun sets on Baku, the visit of Numan Kurtulmuş concludes, but the journey towards peace continues. The complexities of the Azerbaijan-Armenia relationship, fraught with historical grievances and contemporary challenges, require patience, understanding, and unwavering commitment. The events unfolding in Baku and beyond are more than diplomatic formalities; they are the building blocks of a future where peace is not just an aspiration but a reality. The road ahead is long and uncertain, but the resolve of those dedicated to forging a path to peace remains steadfast. In the heart of the South Caucasus, hope endures, illuminated by the prospect of dialogue, reconciliation, and a shared future.

MS: Will There Be Any ‘Syunik Corridor’?

Suren Sargsyan

Last week, Ilham Aliyev won the presidential elections held in Azerbaijan. The victory was given to him quite easily, without any upheaval and he will continue his presidency in the following years. Now, nothing prevents Aliyev from continuing his aggressive actions against Armenia. In particular, he will try to bring to life the so-called “Syunik Corridor” (or “Zangezur Corridor”) project.

This is a project that the Turkish-Azerbaijani tandem had in mind since the collapse of the USSR and, no matter what the official statements are now, it is hard to believe that the two countries have changed their geopolitical priorities. Turkey needs this corridor for its aspirations to unite and lead the Turkic world, and Azerbaijan needs to provide a direct connection with Nakhichevan. At the same time, the implementation of this project is also necessary for Russia, because the settlement of Armenian-Turkish and Armenian-Azerbaijani relations will mean that it will no longer make sense for Russia to have a military presence in Artsakh (there are no Armenians there but there are Russian troops still there) or on the territory of Armenia against Turkey (the Russian military base in Gyumri). Therefore, Russia needs this project if it is to ensure the security of the corridor, routes and communications, as well as its physical military presence on the ground. Actually, an agreement about the implementation of this project was reached with the statement of November 9, 2020 and it can be assumed that the Armenian authorities have given their consent to the project verbally, despite the fact that this statement is just a piece of paper.

When we talk about outside players, we also need to talk about those who will oppose this project. It is important to understand Iran’s position and it is unequivocally negative. Iran will not want to lose its regional transit position, and at the same time it will not want to lose or reshape its external border with Armenia which provides it an exit to Georgia, the Black Sea, etc. Yet another player is the United States, which opposes this project because Washington’s number one priority is to contain Russia, and with the implementation of this project, Washington will not be able to push Russia out of the South Caucasus region.

It is also important to understand which player is ready for what kind of actions to implement or to oppose the project. It is natural that the problem should be solved militarily so that the Armenian authorities can justify what happened in their own country and the Turkish-Azerbaijani tandem will also give Russia a solid opportunity to move its troops from Nagorno-Karabakh to Syunik and deploy them right there in Syunik as the only security guarantor of Armenians.

In this scenario, everything may seem too logical. But there is also another important factor, which is adroitly chosen timing. Timing is crucial. It could happen when there is a tense pre-election or post-election processes in the USA and no one in Washington is particularly interested in what is happening in the South Caucasus – just as it happened during the 2020 elections.

Of course, this is not the only scenario for developments, but at the moment it seems the most possible one, to which Armenia cannot be an obstacle. But here, Iran and the United States, which surprisingly have common interests on this issue, can hinder Azerbaijan’s plans.

Israel rescues 2 hostages from Gaza’s Rafah in nighttime operation; conflicting reports on casualties


YEREVAN, FEBRUARY 12, ARMENPRESS. Israel launched a special forces operation that freed two Israeli hostages in Rafah amid air strikes early on Monday, Reuters reported citing the Israeli military.

A joint operation by the Israel Defence Force (IDF), Israel's domestic Shin Bet security service and the Special Police Unit in Rafah freed Fernando Simon Marman, 60, and Louis Hare, 70, the Israeli military said.

The two men were kidnapped by Hamas from Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak on Oct. 7, the military said.

There are conflicting reports on the casualties: the AFP news agency said 52 Palestinians – including children – were killed, citing Gaza's Hamas-run health ministry. Meanwhile, Reuters put the death toll at 37, also quoting Gaza health officials.

However, the Times of Israel, citing the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza, said the strikes killed "around 100 people" and wounded dozens. 

"It was a very complex operation," Israeli military spokesman Lt Col. Richard Hecht said. "We’ve been working a long time on this operation. We were waiting for the right conditions."

The hostages were being held on the second floor of a building that was breached with an explosive charge during the raid, which saw heavy exchanges of gunfire with surrounding buildings, Hecht said.

"I'm very happy to announce that this night two released hostages landed here at Sheba medical center, Israel's largest hospital," said Prof Arnon Afek, director of Sheba general hospital. "They were received in our ER and initial examinations were conducted by our ER staff and they are in a stable condition and being tended to."

Israeli military said the air strike on Rafah coincided with the raid to allow its forces to be extracted.

The air strikes caused widespread panic in Rafah as many people were asleep when the strikes started, said residents contacted by Reuters using a chat app. Some feared Israel had begun its ground offensive into Rafah.

Israeli planes, tanks and ships took part in the strikes, with two mosques and several houses hit, according to residents.

Hamas said in a statement that the attack on Rafah was a continuation of a "genocidal war" and forced displacement attempts Israel has waged against the Palestinian people.

U.S. President Joe Biden told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday that Israel should not launch a military operation in Rafah without a credible plan to ensure the safety of the roughly 1 million people sheltering there, the White House said.

Aid agencies say an assault on Rafah would be catastrophic. It is the last relatively safe place in an enclave devastated by Israel's military offensive.

US analyst urges the West not to “sacrifice Armenia to the autocracies surrounding it”

Mediamax, Armenia
Feb 10 2024

Yerevan /Mediamax/. A senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute Michael Rubin believes that neither the U.S. nor Europe does enough to consolidate relations with Armenia.

“Armenians relied on Russia for protection against Turkey. The alliance between the two countries was of both heart and mind, yet within just two years, Putin’s arrogance and incompetence have flipped Armenia. Armenians resent how Putin greenlighted Azerbaijan’s 2020 aggression and ethnic cleansing of Nagorno-Karabakh to avenge Armenia’s turn toward democracy,” Rubin writes in his article “Russia is making mistakes beyond Ukraine. Why won’t the US take advantage of them?”

The author claims that “today, Armenia is among the most pro-Western countries in the South Caucasus, while Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Georgia all pivot to Moscow or Beijing.”

“Alas, neither the U.S. nor Europe does enough to consolidate its gain: providing Armenia with the economic infrastructure and partnerships and military support it needs to send the remaining Russian troops packing. Had the Senate not rejected a mandate for Armenia in 1920, the Soviet Union could never have consolidated its control over the region. Washington should not make the same mistake twice, sacrificing a pro-Western country to the autocracies surrounding it,” Rubin writes.

Mediamax notes that in September 2023, Michael Rubin wrote that the United States should back Armenia in saying no to any corridor to Azerbaijan and Turkey.

“If the White House is serious about protecting Armenia, it will consider stationing its own forces, at least on a temporary basis, in southern Armenia,” he wrote.

Armenian PM congratulates Georgian counterpart on approval in partnership message

Agenda, Georgia
Feb 9 2024

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Friday congratulated Irakli Kobakhidze on his confirmation as Georgia's new Prime Minister by the country’s Parliament.

In a social media message, Pashinyan said he hoped to see a further development of strategic partnership between the countries.

“Heartfelt congratulations to the newly appointed Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Kobakhidze! Looking forward to further enhancing Armenian-Georgian strategic partnership, built on centuries-old friendship, shared values and democratic ideals of our peoples”, the official said.

The Georgian Parliament on Thursday approved Kobakhidze, the former Chair of the ruling Georgian Dream party, as the head of the Government with 84 votes in favour and 10 against, after the vote was triggered by the resignation of Irakli Garibashvili in late January.