Jafar Khashe’ in an interview with the site of Strategic Council on Foreign Relations referred to the remarks made by the president of the Republic of Azerbaijan as saying to achieve an agreement with Armenia to demark the borders and Zangezur corridor, and noted:” if the corridor’s objective follows merely the removal of blockade on connecting itineraries, there were details predicted in the agreement achieved between the two countries and mediated by Russia in 2020 for which the regional countries including Iran have no serious reservation about it. The itineraries were already there and had been used”.

Having stressed on the importance of countries’ approach on Zangezur corridor, Khashe’ said:” the way the Republic of Azerbaijan and Turkey look at the Zangezur corridor is different from the raison d’etre of the corridors; however, corridors have long term geopolitical objectives too, but they are mostly expected to serve for their economic application. Even, countries that made those corridors, generally use names that cause promotion of a kind of synergy among the regional countries and to meet the interests of all players and parties involved.

“Zangezur” Has an Offensive Concept

Having emphasized on the necessity of a stable perspective for the corridors, he continued:” We do not notice such aspects for the corridor that the Republic of Azerbaijan is following. At first stage, the name “Zangezur” has an offensive concept within itself coupled with territorial claims. By such measures, it seems what the countries involved pursue, has nothing to do with the nature, the essence and the application of corridors; instead, they follow territorial, political and security objectives”.

The expert of Caucasia issues stressed that such approach will neither promote the cooperation of the regional players nor calm down their reactions as well as their protests. He added:” we already witnessed that after the Brussels meeting, the authorities of the Republic of Azerbaijan said we reached an agreement on the corridor, while the Armenian Foreign Ministry rejected it. Now, while Aliev dealt with the issue in the course of his phone conversation with Erdogan, neither he provided any details and nor the Armenian authorities had reaction on the issue”.

He said:” in case of countries opposition, their cooperation will be lessened, and the corridor will not achieve any success in long term. As such plans bring into consideration the interests of only two parties involved, its costs will increase, and will not be able to serve its goals and to establish peace and tranquility. Thus, will gradually proceed with tensions as well as non-cooperation of countries involved”.

 

Non-Economic Objectives of Turkey & the Republic of Azerbaijan

Having stated that Armenia will not agree with losing the control of a part of its territory, Khashe’ expressed:” unfortunately, it seems that Turkey and the Republic of Azerbaijan follow mostly non-economic objectives, because even now there are other connecting roads that can link the two countries together. In Georgia’s section, a lot of investments have already been made, Iran’s itinerary has also proved to be reasonably economic, safe and stable. These itineraries are completely justifiable; from economic point of view, new investments have no justification”.

Director of Caucasia Studies Foundation said:” agreement was made at the Brussels meeting to establish a commission to review borders. In order to prevent tensions, the negotiations should ultimately proceed; in the meantime, it must be taken into consideration that which map was the basis to determine the demarcation? and chronologically, which period was taken into consideration about the basis of the borders between the two republics? According to the media reports, it seems that both countries agreed in Brussels on borders of 1993, but the Republic of Azerbaijan expected earlier that borders from 1918 to 1926 as to be the basis of demarcation”.

Having underscored that the will to determine the demarcation and to settle the current disputes exists between the two sides, specially Armenia, he continued:” the regional countries are not willing to any movement (of ownership) in large territories and a meaningful change in international borders. This will neither be welcomed by the Arminian society, and nor the government of the country will definitely accept such a situation under the pressure of the public opinion of Armenians inside and outside of the country”.

Khashe’ reminded:” While rejecting the claim raised by the president of the Republic of Azerbaijan on Zangezur, Armen Gevorgyan, Secretary of the National Security Council of Armenia has also announced that it is not possible to exist any corridor in the territory of Armenia and all agreements achieved in Brussels are just about the reopening of transport roads. Yet, the opponents of Pashinyan accuse him to withdraw against Baku and to hide agreements he made with Azeri side as he did about what happened in 2020 war”.

The expert of Caucasia issues said:” on what the Armenian government has announced about the results of Brussels meeting, it has been touched upon that in the course of negotiations, agreements have been made on the continuation of talks in line with reopening of regional links and start of the work of the commission that deals with the border demarcation and providing security; the talks will continue in July or August. The Chair of the EU Council also announced that both sides reached an agreement on the removal of the existing impediments for transit between the two countries and facilitating of transport between Nakhichevan and main territory of Azerbaijan as well as some regions in Armenia using the Azeri territory”.

In the meantime, Khashe’ spelled out:” Azerbaijan had an upper hand in Brussels negotiations, and the trend of talks has so far been to their benefit”.

 

Iran Will Not Accept Any Change of International Borders

Having stressed that Iran will not accept any change of international borders, he added:” We witness the heating up of Brussels negotiations in circumstances when due to war in Ukraine, Russia can pay less attention to Southern Caucasia, but definitely as far as results and final negotiations are concerned, there is little possibility to succeed on agreement without Russia, and thus any agreement will not last long. Russia’s reservations should be met in the two republics, otherwise, agreements will not be durable. Having Russia involved in war, one can not expect substantial changes in Caucasia will take place without paying attention to the country’s interests.