Unraveling the Nagorno-Karabakh Dispute: Azerbaijan’s Anti-Terrorist Campaign and France’s Diplomatic Endeavors
The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict and Azerbaijan’s Recent Actions
Azerbaijan has launched an anti-terrorist campaign against the militarized groups of Nagorno-Karabakh, a region at the heart of longstanding Azerbaijani-Armenian disputes. However, combat operations were halted following an agreement that the pro-Armenian paramilitary groups would disarm. This initiative is a recent chapter in the complex history of Nagorno-Karabakh, an unrecognized republic in Transcaucasia. Internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh declared independence in the late 1980s and early 1990s and is now controlled by Armenia and pro-Armenian local forces. The OSCE Minsk Group, co-chaired by France, the USA, and Russia, was created in 1992 to peacefully resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
France’s New Initiative and Its Implications
Amidst the ongoing conflict, French President Emmanuel Macron has announced his intention to introduce a new initiative to settle the dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan. This move is widely seen as France’s attempt to reinforce its position as the co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group and a mediator in the Baku-Yerevan negotiations, a strategic move in Eurasia. France, with its historic ties to Armenia, is seen as the most likely to influence Yerevan. France has already sent 50 armored personal carriers to Armenia, and 170 French MPs have called for increased support to Yerevan. However, this increased French focus on the Karabakh problem is seen as a desperate effort by France to restore its political reputation after several foreign policy failures.
Armenia’s Security Challenges and Relevance of Russia
Prime Minister of Armenia, Nikol Pashinyan, has pointed out that Armenia’s security is largely linked to Russia. However, due to its ongoing war in Ukraine, Russia cannot meet Armenia’s security needs. This has led to Armenia reforming its security policies and distancing itself from Russia, resulting in a strengthening of relations with the Euroatlantic community.
Struggle for Influence: France and Turkey
Despite these efforts, it is unlikely that France will defeat Turkey in the struggle for influence in Transcaucasia. France’s internal issues, including rising prices, inflation, and international policy failures, are seen as hindrances. If the disagreements between France and Turkey escalate, it could lead to a split in NATO’s southern flank and further destabilize the European community.
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is a complex geopolitical issue with deep historical roots and broad international implications. The recent actions of Azerbaijan and the diplomatic endeavors of France represent significant developments in this ongoing dispute. The outcomes of these actions will have far-reaching impacts on the regional balance of power, international relations, and the lives of the people in Nagorno-Karabakh.
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