Baku: Restored South Caucasus communications to benefit BSEC region
By Vafa Ismayilova
Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov has said that the restoration of communications in the South Caucasus will benefit the BSEC (Black Sea Economic Cooperation) region, Trend reported on June 30.
He made the remarks at the 43rd online meeting of the Council of BSEC foreign ministers on June 30.
"The restoration of communications is a win-win situation for the entire region and will increase the importance of the wider Black Sea geography," Bayramov said.
He noted that the joint statement of November 10, 2020, was completed with the trilateral Azerbaijan-Russia-Armenia statement dated January 11, 2021, which specifies the opening of the regional communications.
"The implementation of these measures will significantly change the landscape of an important part of the BSEC region - the South Caucasus. The Zangazur corridor, a new link between Azerbaijan and Turkey, will connect with Azerbaijan the Nakhchivan exclave, which has been in blockade for nearly 30 years and it will serve the existing trade and transport ties," he said.
The minister stressed that transport, communications, and trade initiatives will provide an opportunity to take advantage of new partnerships and chances. In addition to enhancing development, strengthened regional cooperation can help create economic stakes in the region that will reduce the risk of military outbreaks and strengthen peace and stability.
"We expect the international community, including the BSEC, to make every effort to realize the vision of peace, security, and cooperation that has emerged since the end of the armed conflict [in 2020]. Azerbaijan hopes that the organization and individual member countries will properly understand and adequately assess the emerging opportunities," Bayramov added.
The minister said that Azerbaijan entered a new stage of post-conflict rehabilitation, reconstruction, and reintegration in line with the trilateral deal signed by the Azerbaijani, Russian and Armenian leaders on ceasefire and cessation of all hostilities in the Nagorno-Karabakh region following the last year's 44-day war.
“In the post-conflict period, sustaining peace, rehabilitation and reconstruction activities and the return of IDPs is an absolute priority for Azerbaijan. The government has already initiated practical steps aimed at eliminating the consequences of the [30-year Armenian] occupation,” he said.
Bayramov added that along with the green energy, smart city, smart village concepts, and circular economy principles, state-of-the-art technologies will be applied during the restoration in the liberated lands.
"We appreciate the interest of the partner countries in supporting our efforts through investment and technical cooperation," he said.
Bayramov noted that the conflict's resolution opens up new perspectives for regional cooperation, development, and prosperity.
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