Why is Azerbaijan outraged by the meeting between the West and Armenia?

The recent gathering in Brussels between Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, European Council President Ursula von der Leyen, and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has sparked ire and apprehension in Azerbaijan, triggering a cascade of diplomatic exchanges and geopolitical scrutiny. Official assertions from Baku portray the meeting as a veiled attempt to arm Armenia, prompting swift rebukes from Azerbaijani and regional officials alike.

In response to statements by French Foreign Minister Stephane Sejournet, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry issued a pointed rejoinder, denouncing the Brussels initiative as detrimental to regional stability. Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan echoed these sentiments, characterizing the meeting as a harbinger of increased geopolitical tensions in the South Caucasus. Similarly, the Russian Foreign Ministry decried the gathering as "irresponsible and destructive interference" by external actors in regional affairs, underscoring the geopolitical sensitivities at play.

Contrary to official assertions, US Secretary of State Blinken and European Council President von der Leyen emphasized that the primary focus of their engagement with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev was centered on Armenia's economic development. Political analyst Ahmed Alili, speaking on the "Difficult Question" program, echoed this sentiment, downplaying the strategic significance of the Brussels meeting despite its symbolic resonance.

"While symbolically significant, the meeting did not yield any substantial decisions or political documents," Alili remarked, tempering expectations surrounding the gathering's outcomes. Notably, the European Union's pledge of €270 million in grants to Armenia over the next four years has stoked Azerbaijani apprehensions, with concerns over potential weaponization of aid funds lingering in Baku's diplomatic circles.

Alili highlighted Azerbaijan's longstanding distrust of EU mediation, tracing it back to the inception of the EU monitoring mission in Armenia. Initially slated for a two-month duration, the mission's subsequent expansion and prolonged presence have fueled Azerbaijani suspicions regarding Brussels' intentions, with fears of unforeseen shifts in the initiative's trajectory lingering in Baku's diplomatic calculus.

As regional stakeholders navigate the fallout from the Brussels meeting, uncertainties persist over the future trajectory of South Caucasus dynamics. Against a backdrop of escalating tensions and entrenched geopolitical rivalries, the ramifications of the Brussels rendezvous reverberate across the region, underscoring the complex interplay of diplomatic maneuvering and strategic imperatives shaping the new Eurasian map.

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Difficult question

Грузия меняет западную ориентацию и идет на сближение с Россией? - беседа с экспертом по Кавказу Вадимом Дубновым в программе "Çətin sual"

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