The Center of Analysis of International Relations (AIR Center) has shown a strong commitment to promoting peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan since the beginning of its establishment in 2019. Before the 44-Day War, the AIR Center attempted to convey the peace message to its Armenian counterparts through various channels, inviting them to work together towards a peaceful resolution of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict. Unfortunately, in a similar way to the larger efforts of the Azerbaijani government over the years, the efforts of the AIR Center failed due to the refusal of the Armenian side to engage meaningfully in the Track 1.5 diplomacy. As a result of the failure of the diplomatic efforts, the Azerbaijani government had to liberate the country’s occupied territories by military means and achieved a significant victory in the 44-Day War.
The AIR Center remains committed to the peace agenda and appreciates the opportunities that come with resolving the conflict. The Center has continued to attempt to engage with Armenian counterparts, such as the Orbeli Center, and use any available instruments and potential of the Track 1.5 diplomacy to contribute to the peace efforts between Armenia and Azerbaijan. For this purpose, the AIR Center highly values mediation proposals from common international partners and seeks to take advantage of them.
However, it regrets that the Armenian counterparts have repeatedly declined meeting opportunities proposed by the international partners. Most of the time, such as in August and November of 2022 for a meeting in Geneva and in mid-November of the same year in Moscow, the Armenian side declined their participation a couple of days before the agreed date.
The latest effort to meet in Ankara in April this year was also jettisoned by the Armenian side few days prior the event. This disrespectful attitude has ruined all the efforts and resources of our joint international partners and manifests that Armenia – its government and think tank community are not serious about the dialogue between the two countries. The Armenian government is aimed at exploiting various topics related to alleged victimhood, security threats or “blockade” with a single purpose to postpone comprehensive peace and derail the efforts at other tracks.
The AIR Center views this approach from the Armenian counterparts as highly detrimental to peace efforts and regrets that the Armenian side continues to avoid substantive and meaningful engagements, fueling tensions and preventing peace and reconciliation between the two societies.