Yesterday, the Administration of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Office of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia issued a joint statement for the first time.
In the statement, it was reported that an agreement was reached on taking serious steps in the direction of trust-building between the two countries.
In this framework, guided by the values of humanism and as a goodwill step, Azerbaijan will release 32 Armenian servicemen, and Armenia, in turn, will release 2 Azerbaijani servicemen.
In addition, as a manifestation of goodwill, Armenia withdraws its candidacy to host the 29th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP29) and supports Azerbaijan's candidacy. Azerbaijan, on the other hand, supports Armenia's candidacy for membership of the Bureau of the COP from the Eastern European Group.
The joint statement conveys important messages from many aspects. First of all, official Baku and Iravan achieved significant progress through direct negotiations between the Administration of the President of Azerbaijan and the Office of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia, without the participation of third parties.
This is a clear example of how the two sides can resolve existing problems and conflicts through one-on-one negotiations, and reach compromises through diplomacy and negotiation.
The first joint statement issued by the administrations of the leaders of the two countries is an important step and long-awaited serious progress in terms of the agreement and signing of the Azerbaijan-Armenia peace treaty, and the establishment of peace in the region.
The joint statement proves that the direct negotiations, which Baku has repeatedly proposed before, are more favorable, productive, and calculated for the maximum result.
When looking at Azerbaijan-Armenia relations, neither the talks and meetings initiated separately by the OSCE Minsk Group nor its co-chairs (US, Russia, and France) nor the negotiations taking place on platforms such as the OSCE, the UN, or the EU, affect relations between Baku and Yerevan. did not lead to a fundamental change. It is true that some of those initiatives were useful from the humanitarian point of view and gave clear positive results, but in a broad sense, those negotiations did not create fundamental changes in terms of the main mission of Azerbaijan-Armenia relations. In some cases, those negotiations were conducted on the principle of "1 step forward, 2 steps back".
At a time when diplomacy was deadlocked, Azerbaijan alone managed to implement the resolutions of the UN Security Council during the 44-day war in September 2020 and militarily forced Armenia to fulfill the requirements of international law.
Azerbaijan's victories in the military the 44-day war in 2020 and the anti-terrorist measures implemented in Garabagh in September 2023 - were the main steps to achieve peace in the region.
In this context, we once again witness the truth of President Ilham Aliyev's speech at the conference on "Formation of Greater Eurasian geopolitics: from Past to Present and Future" held in Shusha on May 3, 2023.
"I think that the best way to reach an agreement is direct negotiations between Azerbaijan and Armenia, without any mediators, assistants or disruptors," the head of state said.
The joint statement of the Administration of the President of Azerbaijan and the Office of the Prime Minister of Armenia once again proves the correctness of the diplomatic strategy chosen by the Azerbaijani side and the head of the country, Ilham Aliyev, and the truth of the statements made.
Unfortunately, the political leadership of Armenia began to realize the truth of these ideas only after the anti-terrorist measures held in Garabagh in September. However, thanks to the political will and determination of the official Baku, the two countries are already negotiating the normalization process and the peace treaty.
The joint statement of the parties seems to convey a kind of "don't interfere in our business" message to outside forces, showing that regional problems can only be solved by the countries of the region. At the same time, Azerbaijan and Armenia call on the international community to support the efforts of the two countries, which will contribute to the creation of mutual trust and have a positive impact on the entire South Caucasus region.
The inclusion of the opinion that "the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Armenia will continue discussions for the implementation of additional confidence-building measures shortly" in the statement creates confidence that the parties will not be satisfied with the action of mutual release of detainees, and will continue peace negotiations.
The recent steps of Azerbaijan and Armenia were welcomed by the great powers of the world, and they were evaluated as an important event in terms of creating an environment of trust between the two countries.
Thus, what happened proves that Azerbaijan and its leader strengthened their military victory with diplomatic achievements.
It seems that thanks to the strategic patience and iron will of Azerbaijan, the South Caucasus region is very close to entering the "era of peace".