Azerbaijan, Russia eye 3+3 regional cooperation format
By Ayya Lmahamad
Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov have discussed the importance of developing a post-war 3+3 regional cooperation platform, the Foreign Ministry has reported.
In a telephone conversation on November 2, the two ministers focused on a number of issues of the bilateral relations agenda and the current regional situation.
The ministers discussed the implementation of trilateral statements signed by Baku, Moscow, and Yerevan in November 2020, and January 2021.
They discussed the activities of the Azerbaijani-Russian-Armenian working group on unblocking transport and communications and other issues of mutual interest.
Earlier, on October 30, on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Rome, Russian and Turkish Foreign Ministers Sergey Lavrov and Mevlut Cavusoglu discussed the prospects of launching the regional mechanism "3 + 3" in order to unblock economic and transport ties and promote mutually beneficial infrastructure projects in the South Caucasus.
Azerbaijan, along with Turkey earlier offered a new regional cooperation format that would involve all six countries in the region, including Armenia.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev announced Baku's willingness for a new regional cooperation platform at a press conference on December 10, 2020.
The six-sided platform is the idea of launching a consultative regional mechanism with the participation of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Russia, Iran, and Turkey.
It is believed that the cooperation platform will meet the interests of all its potential participants, contribute to strengthening peace, confidence, lead to stimulating economic processes and cooperation in the South Caucasus.
It should be noted that President İlham Aliyev said during his visit to Zangilan on October 20 that although Armenia earlier resisted the unblocking of the regional transport communications, "they have now agreed to it".
The document signed on January 11, 2021, envisages the unblocking of transport communications in the region after Baku and Yerevan reached a ceasefire deal in November 2020 after the 44-day war.
The latest meeting of the trilateral working group was held under the joint chairmanship of the Azerbaijani, Russian and Armenian deputy prime ministers in Moscow on October 20.
During the first part of the eighth meeting, Shahin Mustafayev, Aleksey Overchuk and Mher Grigoryan considered the prospects of restoring transport communications in the South Caucasus region and the course of further work within the framework of the trilateral statement signed by the Azerbaijani, Russian and Armenian leaders on January 11, 2021.
The parties agreed to hold the second part of the eighth meeting in the near future.
Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad
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