Last year, Armenia and Azerbaijan fought for six weeks over Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions in a conflict that took more than 6,500 lives. On November 9, 2020, the two sides signed an agreement brokered by Russia to end the fighting and work towards a comprehensive solution. The 2nd Karabakh War ended a decades-old frozen conflict by reversing the Armenian occupation of Azerbaijani territory. Since then, both have signaled willingness to improve relations while a new geopolitical reality has emerged. As its influence has grown, Turkey has reiterated its support for Azerbaijan and pushed for normalization of diplomatic relations in the region. Political turmoil in Armenia following the war, Russian recognition of the new conditions through a trilateral working group, and the recent flareup along the Azerbaijani-Iranian border due to Tehran’s discomfort with Baku’s close relationship with Israel have been some of the notable developments in the region.
A year after the 2nd Karabakh War, how does the future of peace in a region rife with instability look like? How can actors like Turkey, Russia, the US and Europe play a constructive role moving forward? What are some of the potential areas of tension that could threaten peace?
The SETA Foundation at Washington DC is pleased to host a panel of experts to discuss geopolitics in the South Caucasus.
Luke Coffey, Director, Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy at the Heritage
Amanda Paul, Senior Policy Analyst, European Policy Centre
Kadir Ustun, Executive Director, The SETA Foundation at Washington, DC
Luke Coffey Luke Coffey is the Director of the Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation. Before joining Heritage in 2012, Luke served in the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence as senior special advisor to the Secretary of State for Defence. Prior to this, he worked in the House of Commons as an advisor on defense and security issues for the Conservative Party. His work in British politics followed his service to the United States as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army. In 2005 he deployed to Afghanistan and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal. He holds a Masters in Science in European politics from the London School of Economics.
Amanda Paul is a Senior Policy Analyst in the Europe in the World Programme at the EPC. She has well-established expertise on issues related to Turkish foreign and domestic policy, Ukraine, security and conflict resolution in the Black Sea region, Russian foreign policy in the former Soviet space and EU foreign policy in its Eastern neighbourhood. Amanda also developed and leads EPC’s work on counter-terrorism and violent extremism. She is also Senior Associate Research Fellow at the International Centre for Policy Studies in Kyiv, Ukraine, where she contributes to research and events related to Ukraine and the broader region. She is also a Senior Advisor on issues related to the Eurasia region for Stober, Poltavets and Associates. For some ten years she was a columnist in the Turkish media covering issues related to Turkey and the broader region. Prior to joining the EPC, Amanda worked at the Centre for European Policy Studies, the European Commission and Türk Henkel in Istanbul, Turkey. She has published widely on her areas of expertise in numerous external publications, including academic journals and in the media.
Kadir Ustun is Executive Director at the SETA Foundation at Washington, D.C. He holds a Ph.D. in Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies from Columbia University and a master’s degree in History from Bilkent University. Dr. Ustun taught courses on history, politics, culture, and art in the Islamic World as well as Western political thought at Columbia University and George Mason University. His research interests include civil-military relations, social and military modernization in the Middle East, US-Turkey relations, and Turkish foreign policy. His writings have appeared in Insight Turkey, Al Jazeera English, Sabah Daily, Hurriyet Daily News, Cairo Review of Global Affairs, Al-Monitor, Politico, Daily Sabah, Mediterranean Quarterly, and Middle East Policy. He is co-editor of edited volumes History, Politics and Foreign Policy in Turkey (2011), Change and Adaptation in Turkish Foreign Policy (2014), and Trump’s Jerusalem Move: Making Sense of US Policy on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (2020).