A preparatory meeting of high-ranking officials was held on the eve of the meeting of the ministers of the Coordination Bureau of the Non-Aligned Movement at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan. A number of important issues are also expected to be discussed at the meeting of ministers scheduled to be held on July 5 and 6 in Azerbaijan’s capital.
It should be noted that the ministers of many countries have made an official visit to Baku to participate in the event hosted by Azerbaijan. Minister of for Work with Pakistanis Living Abroad and Human Resources Development of Pakistan Sajid Hussain Turi is among those officials, who also paid a tribute to the memory of national leader Heydar Aliyev and laid wreaths.
In general, the Non-Aligned Movement is very important for Azerbaijan. On October 9, 2020, the member states of the Non-Aligned Movement showed solidarity during the 44-day Karabakh war, which Azerbaijan liberated its lands under Armenian occupation. Those states unanimously declared that they support the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. In the statement of the Foreign Ministers of Azerbaijan, calls were made for the resolution of the Karabakh conflict on the basis of the four resolutions of the UN Security Council dated 1993, and the demand for the withdrawal of Armenian troops from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.
And today, the Ministerial Meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) that is going to be held on Wednesday and Thursday in Baku will have a number of important topics in the agenda of discussion.
Speaking to Azernews, Pakistani experts commented on the upcoming event.
According to Professor Shazia Anwer Cheema, the purpose of the NAM ministerial meeting is purely to promote peace.
“I believe that this meeting will be within the parameters of this year’s NAM heads of state meeting that help Baku in march 2023. The world needs maintenance of international peace and security and multilateralism is needed to ensure principles laid down by UN for peace initiative. Pakistan is one of the oldest members of NAM and it believes that non-aligned and bloc-less world can help weaker nations they stand together against aggression,” the professor said.
The expert also highly appreciated the leadership and role of Azerbaijan in NAM meetings held at the level of heads of state. She noted that Armenia’s aggressive policy against Azerbaijan may be the main topic of discussion at this meeting held at the ministerial level.
Hosting a summit-level meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement in Baku on march 2 2023 and taking over the chairmanship of the second-largest group for another year was a great opportunity for Azerbaijan in its drive to turn the entire region into an island of development and cooperation serving the interests of peoples.
NAM can raise the issues of Armenian aggression against Azerbaijan at its forum and also put pressure on Armenia to behave well for regional peace,” she opined.
Sharing the same opinion, Asif Noor, the Director, Centre for Central Asia and Eurasian Studies- Institute of Peace and Diplomatic Studies, noted that the NAM meeting can give a serious impetus to the acceleration of the peace process between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
“The member states of the Non-Aligned Movement are expected to contribute to the peace process between Azerbaijan and Armenia during the upcoming meeting. Although the meeting’s agenda covers various topics and is not solely focused on bilateral issues between Azerbaijan and Armenia, it is likely that this particular conflict will receive significant attention.
As the current chair of the Non-Aligned Movement, Azerbaijan will have the opportunity to present its position on the territorial dispute with Armenia. It is probable that Azerbaijan will use its position to explain its stance and seek diplomatic support for its perspective on the Karabakh conflict. It’s worth noting that Armenia holds observer status within the Non-Aligned Movement, which means its opinions may carry less weight compared to full member states.
Considering Azerbaijan’s previous involvement in the Non-Aligned Movement, it has previously included the Karabakh conflict in the Outcome Document of the Heads of State Summit in 2019, reflecting its position on the matter. It is likely that Azerbaijan will once again assert its position during the meeting and seek diplomatic support for recognizing the legally correct status of the disputed territory,” he emphasized.
According to the Pakistani expert, Azerbaijan has always been a supporter of peace, and by sticking to its firm position this time, it will be able to make progress towards the normalization of relations between the two countries.
“Given that Azerbaijan is open to normalization, the chances of further escalation in their conflict are low. Azerbaijan being a responsible regional power and host to NAM and torch bearer of Peace, the conflict will not escalate unless any misadventure from Armenia,” Asif Noor concluded.