Last week the Caspian Initiative for European Integration and Partnership (CIEIP) held an online Discussion Forum on the prospects of peace-building in the South Caucasus in the context of post-conflict relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia.
The Forum brought together around 100 participants, including politicians, researchers, journalists and foreign students studying in Europe and/or representing European political institutions. The discussions aimed to draw attention to the peace-building challenges in the region and urge more European involvement in the process.
Coordinators of the CIEIP – Orkhan Bashirli, Javida Rahimova, Huseyn Aliyev, Parviz Yarmammad, Arif Aliyev, Ingilab Babayev and Nargiz Gambarova – made presentations on the geopolitical history of the conflict, the 44-Day War period, post-war reconstruction, and peacebuilding perspectives.
Arif Aliyev claimed that the relations between Armenians and Azerbaijanis had been more stable when European politics and values were present in the region back in 1918-1919. He continued, this can be true for now as well, if we make a historical analogy. The EU has political weight and peace-building experience which can transform the region.
Huseyn Aliyev mentioned that the EU’s role is vital in the post-conflict period since peace and integration between the two Eastern Partnership countries can be only a win- win model for the EU and the entire South Caucasus region.
During the discussions, different politicians, researchers and journalists from European institutions and community expressed their views and stressed the need for a more pragmatic European approach to these issues.
In a poll, asking about the necessity of the EU’s engagement, 81% of participants expressed that the European Union can make a difference in the peacebuilding process.
The event ended with reciprocal positive messages between the European political and institutional community and the CIEIP on the establishment of new stages of cooperation in promoting lasting peace in the South Caucasus.
The Caspian Initiative for European Integration & Partnership (CIEIP) is a non- governmental newly-established lobbying organization based in Brussels, aiming to advance the integration of the Caspian Sea region into the European Union and European values.
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