The co-rapporteurs and core expert members of the Joint Armenian-Azerbaijani Liaison Group on Confidence-building measures in support of lasting peace in the South Caucasus (JOLIG) met in Tbilisi, Georgia, on 28 February 2022 to review the Group’s work since it was established in September 2021, and to decide the next steps. Present were on the Armenian side Benyamin Poghosyan (Co-rapporteur), Stepan Grigorian and Jonny Melikyan; and on the Azerbaijani side, Ahmad Alili (Co-rapporteur), Ramazan Samadov and Anar Valiyev.
Participants noted with concern the recent grave developments in the international arena and agreed that these developments can have a serious and negative impact on Armenia, on Azerbaijan, on Armenia-Azerbaijan relations and on the future of the South Caucasus region. Participants called for an immediate end to fighting in Ukraine. They highlighted at this very difficult and dangerous moment for the Eastern Partnership and all the post-Soviet space, the need to reaffirm and support the independence and sovereignty of Armenia and Azerbaijan, other Eastern Partnership countries, and of all post-Soviet states.
In this very difficult and challenging time for world peace it is more important than ever to work for lasting and sustainable peace in the South Caucasus. The Joint Liaison Group has in the last six months worked to develop ideas on how confidence building measures can support this quest. Members of the group have engaged in consultations with officials, experts and civil society groups in the region and beyond in preparation of their report which they intend to finalise by the end of March 2022. The report will include a number of concrete ideas as to what confidence-building measures can be implemented in the long, medium and short term in support of lasting peace in the region.
The Joint Liaison Group hopes that the contents of their forthcoming report will contribute towards building peace in the region. They highlighted their readiness to work in the future with Georgian colleagues to widen the scope of their work. They thanked the European Union for its support to the work of the Joint Liaison Group and LINKS Europe for facilitating the group’s meetings and work. They called on the international community to move speedily to turn some of their recommendations into concrete action in a timely way. The Joint Liaison Group hopes to present the conclusions of its work to decision makers and opinion shapers in Brussels, Yerevan and Baku in April 2022.