However, senior Azerbaijani diplomats once again say that these claims are unfounded: on the contrary, Baku believes that it is more realistic that a peace treaty with Yerevan will be signed soon.
Following the meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Tehran yesterday, Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan Jeyhun Bayramov said that “there are real chances for the conclusion of a peace treaty between Azerbaijan and Armenia within a short period of time.”
In this context, the major US publication Politico notes that the proposed peace agreement would end more than 30 years of conflict that has dragged in the United States, the European Union and Russia.
Speaking to Politico, Hikmet Hajiyev, the foreign policy aide to the President of Azerbaijan, said Baku had no plans to seize Zangezur. The project, he said, “has lost its attractiveness for us — we can do this with Iran instead. Our agenda was only about building transport linkages and connectivity through the framework of bilateral engagement. If this is the case, yes, but if not then OK. It’s still on the table but it will require from the Armenian side to show they’re really interested in that.”
Politico recalls that earlier this month, as part of an agreement with Tehran, Azerbaijan broke ground on a new road link via the neighboring country. However, there are hopes that a transport link could be revived as part of progress on the peace treaty, but without “extraterritorial” concessions that would allow Azerbaijan to bypass Armenian border control.
The EU’s role as a mediator in the conflict now appears to be under threat, the publication points out. The Azerbaijan-Armenia talks in Brussels that had been scheduled for the end of this month were postponed indefinitely after the meeting of foreign ministers in the 3+3 format in Tehran. A senior EU official who was granted anonymity insisted, however, that the EU is not losing its influence, but that “things are simply taking longer to organize”.