Situation in Karabakh – Update as of 27/10/23

The files we follow: Karabakh Situation ; Abkhazia and South Ossetia / Georgia Conflict, Georgia – EU/ US/Russia/Ukraine Relations and Georgian Domestic Policy, South Caucasian energy, trade and transport issues, Human Rights in South Caucasus, Various foreign policies Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia.

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The anti-French influence offensive accelerated this week on the part of Azerbaijan, notably with the hosting in Baku on 20 October of a meeting of the “Baku initiative group against French colonialism” created on the sidelines of the Non-Aligned Movement last July, and a conference entitled “Neocolonialism: human rights violations and injustice” which would have brought together “representatives of 14 countries, from French overseas territories, vestiges of the French colonial empire and from Corsica”. On this occasion, President Ilham Aliyev delivered a virulent speech against France during which he declared: “Overall, most of the bloody crimes in the colonial history of humanity were committed by none other than France. […] France ranks among the first countries in the world in terms of use of landmines […] On this list, just behind France, comes its close ally: Armenia. […] Among other things, one of the reasons that closely links these two countries is the practice of resorting to mining terrorism. […] In its documents, the Non-Aligned Movement always unequivocally supports the sovereignty of the Union of the Comoros over the island of Mayotte. A referendum is organized in New Caledonia without the participation of half of its population, depriving it of its right to independence. France, which rejects the concept of ethnic minorities, bans the Corsican language. […] As Chairman of the Non-Aligned Movement, Azerbaijan supports the peoples who struggle against colonialism and seek liberation.

While the Azerbaijani Ministry of Defence announced on 23 October the launch of the Turkish-Azerbaijani military exercises “Mustafa Kamal Atatürk – 2023” in Azerbaijan, the Armenian Minister of Defence, Suren Papikian, was visiting Paris on the same day with his counterpart Sébastien Lecornu “in order to formalize the acquisition of weapons to enable it to protect its civilian populations and ensure the defence of its borders”, according to the French Ministry of the Armed Forces via the X social media.

At the same time, Tehran hosted the second meeting in the “3+3” format, still in the absence of Georgia, due to the presence of the Russian side, from 23 October, on the sidelines of which an informal meeting between Ararat Mirzoyan and Djeyhoun Bayramov would have taken place according to the spokesperson of the Armenian MFA, a meeting in relation to which the Iranian MFA Hossein Amir-Abdollahian would have, according to the press agencies APA and Alarabiya News, declared beforehand: “Armenia recognizes Karabakh as Azerbaijani territory. Azerbaijan, in turn, guarantees the security of Armenians living in Karabakh. […] A historic opportunity is available to all countries in the region. The war in the South Caucasus is over and it is time for peace and cooperation. […] The presence of foreigners in the region will not solve any problem but will further complicate the situation”. Ararat Mirzoyan reiterated the Armenian desire for a “crossroads of peace” explaining that “based on the principles of sovereignty and jurisdiction of states, reciprocity and equality of countries, the Republic of Armenia [was] ready to participate in regional infrastructure projects”.

The principles of this project were clarified by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian on the occasion of the Silk Road Forum in Tbilisi in these terms: “Principle No. 1: all infrastructure,

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