US should work with both Armenia and Azerbaijan to open communication action links, Cekuta says
Azerbaijan13:4528 September, 2021

The United States should work with both Armenia and Azerbaijan to open new transportation and communication action links across the two countries and the South Caucasus, said Robert F. Cekuta

US should work with both Armenia and Azerbaijan to open communication action links, Cekuta says
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The United States should work with both Armenia and Azerbaijan to open new transportation and communication action links across the two countries and the South Caucasus, said Robert F. Cekuta, a member of the advisory board of the Caspian Policy Center and former US Ambassador to Azerbaijan, in his article headlined 'America Can Still Broker an Elusive Armenian-Azerbaijani Peace,' Qazet.az informs.

"Such efforts will engender business opportunities, boost economic growth, and further the well-being of Armenians and Azerbaijanis. These transportation and communication links could be especially important for Armenia, which has isolated itself from Turkey as well as Azerbaijan due to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. And these projects will also stimulate the broader Caucasus and Central Asia, serving as an answer to China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Importantly, none of these actions by the United States would entail sizeable outlays of resources. They just require a bit of initiative and commitment.

"And the payoffs will be significant. Actions the United States took this past spring support this point. Following a phone call by National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, a visit by the then acting head of the State Department’s Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs and the U.S. Minsk Group co-chair helped broker an agreement for Azerbaijan to release a group of Armenian prisoners of war and for Armenia to provide Azerbaijan with maps showing where landmines were placed in the territory Armenia had occupied before Azerbaijan won it back in last year’s war. The action won appreciation by both Armenians and Azerbaijanis and was something Russia had been unable—or unwilling—to do.

"As a top official from the region said recently, 'If the United States wants to push back on the Russians and trim their sails, then it should help make peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan.' What could be more in the American interest than that?" Cekuta questioned.

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