Baku analysts reject Pashinyan's proposal on withdrawal of troops as unfeasible
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan's recent proposal to mirror the withdrawal of Armenian and Azerbaijani troops from the notional state border has been met with scepticism by experts in Baku, who see it as an unrealistic and propaganda-driven move. Pashinyan claims that Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev rejected the proposal, leading to interpretations in the Armenian press about Baku's unwillingness for peace and readiness for renewed conflict.
However, Baku experts reject these claims, emphasising the historical context and geopolitical complexities associated with the long-standing Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict. Military expert Adalat Verdiyev argues that Armenia's proposal for a mirror withdrawal is unacceptable to Azerbaijan, given Yerevan's three-decade-old territorial ambitions to expand Azerbaijan's occupied territories to the right bank of the Kura River. Verdiyev argues that Azerbaijan, which liberated land at great human cost, cannot consider withdrawal from the border as a viable option.
Verdiyev further suggests that if Armenia truly seeks delimitation, it should start by liberating occupied Azerbaijani enclaves, which would be a gesture of goodwill. He points to the lack of direct transport links between Baku and Nakhchivan, emphasising Armenia's unfulfilled obligations under the 2020 Tripartite Statement.
MP and political scientist Rasim Musabekov shares the sense of mistrust, emphasising Azerbaijan's right to defend its territory and population. Musabekov emphasises Armenia's non-compliance with UN Security Council and OSCE resolutions regarding the liberation of occupied Azerbaijani lands, which is grounds for Baku's cautious approach.
Ilgar Velizadeh, chairman of the South Caucasus Political Scientists Club, rejects Pashinian's proposal as a PR stunt, arguing that the idea of a mirror withdrawal does not have the necessary basis for serious consideration. Velizadeh suggests that determining the exact location of the border should precede the discussion of troop withdrawal, emphasising the absence of a peace treaty between Azerbaijan and Armenia.
Thus, Baku experts remain unconvinced by Pashinyan's call for a mirror withdrawal, viewing it as an impractical and premature proposal given the complexities of the current regional dynamics.-