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Azerbaijan: Is Platform for Peace an Olive Branch or PR Stunt?

The Truman “Winter White House” in Key West, Florida (pictured here) was the scene of peace talks in 2001 that reportedly produced a tentative framework for resolving the Karabakh conflict. Both sides subsequently walked back from the Key West framework, and the conflict remains “frozen” due to the lack of a political settlement. (Photo: Peter Burke)

At a time when the prospects for peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan seem as bleak as ever, the unprecedented appearance in Baku of several Armenian activists has come as somewhat of a surprise.
 
In early November, Azerbaijan hosted a conference, “The Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict: Main Obstacles and Prospects of the Settlement. View from Armenia and Azerbaijan.” That was followed up by the creation of a “Peace Platform” comprising activists from Armenia and Azerbaijan. A number of Armenians have moved to Baku, and have started working at an Azerbaijani news website, haqqin.az.
 
To call this a quixotic effort would perhaps be an understatement. For one, the Armenians involved in the project are obscure, with little credibility in Armenia.
 

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Zaur Shiriyev is an Academy Associate at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House).

Azerbaijan: Is Platform for Peace an Olive Branch or PR Stunt?

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