By Vafa Ismayilova
Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov has said Azerbaijan continues to protect its borders within its territorial integrity, the Foreign Ministry has reported.
He made the remarks at a meeting with a delegation from the Caspian Policy Center (CPC), a US-based independent research think tank, on May 19, 2021.
"Speaking about the recent tensions in the border area of the two countries [Azerbaijan and Armenia], the minister noted that Azerbaijan continues to strengthen the border protection system within its territorial integrity, and this process is carried out on the basis of maps on each side. It was stressed that this issue was politicized by Armenia, and such differences should be resolved through negotiations," the ministry said.
Bayramov informed the delegation about the latest regional developments, including the new post-conflict situation, trilateral statements and issues related to their implementation, the possibility of normalizing Azerbaijani-Armenian relations, with the elimination of the fact of occupation, on the basis of international law principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of internationally recognized borders. They also focused on the implementation of the restoration, reconstruction and reintegration process in the liberated areas.
Moreover, Bayramov briefed the delegation about the steps taken by Azerbaijan for the implementation of the trilateral statements, including the return of persons with prisoners of war status to Armenia, the transfer of up to 1,600 bodies of Armenian servicemen to the opposite side, as well as the continuation of relevant negotiations to open communication lines.
The minister stressed that Armenia has not yet provided information on about 4,000 Azerbaijanis missing as a result of the First Karabakh war in 1991-1994.
Touching on energy issues, Bayramov spoke about large-scale projects implemented in this area and their contribution to regional development. he expressed satisfaction with the continuing US support for energy projects that Azerbaijan initiated and joined.
The minister then answered the questions from the delegation; the sides had a wide exchange of views on bilateral relations, as well as on regional security issues.
On November 10, Baku and Yerevan signed a Moscow-brokered deal that brought an end to 44 days of fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijani army declared a victory against the Armenian troops. The signed agreement obliged Armenia to withdraw its troops from the Azerbaijani lands that it has occupied since the early 1990s.
Before the signing of the deal, the Azerbaijani Army had liberated around 300 villages, settlements, city centres and historic Shusha city.
On January 11, the Azerbaijani, Russian and Armenian leaders signed the second statement since the end of the 44-day war. The newly-signed statement is set to implement clause 9 of the November 2020 statement related to the unblocking of all economic and transport communications in the region.
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