By Ayya Lmahamad
Armenia’s policy of occupation poses a threat to energy and transport projects in the region, Azerbaijan’s Economy Minister Mikayil Jabbarov said during the 5th annual meeting of the Board of Governors of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank on July 28.
Addressing the meeting held in a video format, Jabbarov said that Armenia, with its aggressive policy, impedes expansion of economic cooperation and limits the full realization of economic potential of the region.
Jabbarov said that Yerevan purposefully creates tension in the region. He recalled Armenia’s recent provocation in Tovuz region, saying that starting from July 12, Armenian armed forces fired artillery shells at Azerbaijani positions located not in the frontline zone, but on the border between the two countries, as a result of which military personnel and civilians were killed and wounded.
The minister said that over the past three decades, 20 percent of Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized territories have been under Armenian occupation. More than a million people have become refugees and internally displaced persons.
Furthermore, the minister emphasized that Azerbaijan attaches great importance to the development of cooperation with AIIB as evidenced by the joint projects. Mentioning the country’s favorable geographical location, Jabbarov said that Azerbaijan has turned into an international transport hub with its modern infrastructure projects. He spoke about the role of the shortest transport route between Asia and Europe - Baku- Tbilisi- Kars railway - and the Baku port in expanding cooperation between regional countries.
Commenting on the negative consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, Jabbarov noted the work done to eliminate these consequences in the country, such as the creation of favorable business environment and the innovative reforms aimed at the development of the private sector. It was noted that the the regional branch of the World Economic Forum's Fourth Industrial Revolution Center has been established in Azerbaijan, which will serve as an important platform for global multilateral cooperation.
During the webinar, the parties also discussed long-term trends and short-term macroeconomic changes in the development of the Asian region, measures taken by the AIIB to combat COVID-19, support offered to member countries by the bank, and other issues.
Additionally, during the meeting the AIIB report for 2019 was presented and the parties exchanged views on the admission of new members and the annual meeting to be held next year.
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