Bayramov: Baku hails Moscow's role in Azerbaijani-Armenian post-war normalization
By Vugar Khalilov
Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov has said that Baku appreciates Moscow’s role in the Azerbaijani-Armenian post-war normalization process, Azernews reports.
Bayramov made the remark during a joint presser with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, in Baku on June 24.
"Conflict is a thing of the past"
“Azerbaijan is of a position that the conflict is a thing of the past, and it is necessary to fulfill the agreements reached and pursue a peaceful agenda for lasting peace and prosperity in the region. We state and express our great appreciation of the special role that the Russian Federation has taken in reaching agreements between the leaders of Azerbaijan, Russia, and Armenia, which were enshrined in tripartite statements, the first of which was reached on November 10, 2020,” Bayramov stressed.
He mentioned that the issue of the post-conflict settlement was covered in his discussion with Lavrov today. The need of fostering a climate of peace and collaboration in the area was emphasized.
Bayramov noted that the Azerbaijani-Russian collaboration for Karabakh restoration is a significant moment in bilateral cooperation.
“Restoration of the liberated territories [from Armenian occupation in 2020 Second Karabakh War] is the top priority for Azerbaijan. The restoration process is of principal importance. A lot of projects are being carried out, restoration is proceeding at a high pace, and we will witness the return of the first internally displaced persons (IDPs) to the liberated territories in the near future,” he stressed.
The minister highlighted that cooperative participation in efforts to rebuild liberated regions is an essential aspect of the cooperation between Azerbaijan and Russia.
Azerbaijan believes that, for the first time since their independence, Azerbaijan and Armenia have a truly unique opportunity to achieve peace and establish good neighborly relations, Bayramov said in response to Trend's question during the joint press conference.
"Within a short period of time following the second Karabakh war and signing the trilateral statement, it was Azerbaijan that first expressed its readiness to turn the page of enmity and reach a peace agreement between the two countries. If anyone thinks it was an easy decision, I recommend them to visit the liberated territories and witness what we saw when we returned there," Bayramov said.
Baku grand initiator of stable peace in the South Caucasus
According to Bayramov, it was Azerbaijan that put forth the fundamental parameters for establishing interstate ties between Armenia and Azerbaijan in February 2022. These values have been embraced by Armenia's political leadership as well as the rest of the globe.
In terms of mending Armenia-Azerbaijan relations, the nations have made the most progress in opening communications. As a result, Azerbaijan, represented by President Ilham Aliyev, insisted on including the paragraph on unblocking communications in the trilateral agreement, therefore restoring commercial connections, the minister explained.
According to Bayramov, delays in normalizing the Azerbaijani-Armenian ties pose threats to the peace negotiations.
“Azerbaijan’s position for the normalization of relations aimed at full and strict implementation of all tripartite statements. This is a guarantee of development of the whole region because the artificial delay in the process of normalizing state relations has a negative effect on this process and carries serious risks,” Bayramov said.
Bayramov also emphasized Russia's specific role in achieving agreements between the leaders of Azerbaijan, Russia, and Armenia, which were guaranteed in trilateral declarations, the first of which was signed on November 10, 2020.
He added that the progress of normalizing ties between Azerbaijan and Armenia cannot be hampered by the format.
"Starting from February 2022, due to well-known reasons, the negotiations between the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group become completely paralyzed. We received this information from various sources, including from Russian partners, but not only. Azerbaijan's objective in this circumstance is to achieve long-term, durable, and sustainable peace in the region. From this point of view, the process cannot fall victim to the format. Naturally, we cannot focus on a non-existent format," Bayramov emphasized.
In turn, Lavrov said that Russia will provide all the necessary help required to bring peace in the South Caucasus and delimit the Azerbaijani-Armenian borders.
“Russia emphasizes the necessity to resume or continue the work of the Commission on border delimitation between Azerbaijan and Armenia as soon as possible. Russia will be ready to render the necessary advisory services, as we are ready to facilitate the conclusion of a peace treaty between Baku and Yerevan, initiated by our Azerbaijani friends,” Lavrov said.
He stressed that there is no alternative to the implementation of all agreements, which is ensured in three declarations signed by Russian, Azerbaijani, and Armenian leaders. Nearly every aspect of post-conflict settlement in the region is covered by the agreements, the minister added.
"No alternative to the implementation of all agreements"
“We have noted the convergence of approaches on most of the key issues. The tasks of strengthening peace, security, and stability in the South Caucasus were discussed, first of all,” Lavrov said.
“We confirmed that there is no alternative to the implementation of all the agreements, which are guaranteed in three statements at the level of the leaders of Russia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia, which deal with almost all aspects of the post-conflict settlement in the region,” the Russian FM noted.
He underlined that the work of deputy PMs in the trilateral working group on unblocking all transport and economic ties in the South Caucasus was highlighted during the talks with Bayramov.
“They met in Moscow on June 3 and just two weeks later held another informal meeting within the framework of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum [held in Russia, on June 15-18, 2022]. These recent contacts have made it possible to come much closer to final agreements on rail and road routes,” Lavrov added.
The Russian FM stated that high-level talks between Azerbaijan and Russia are held on a regular basis.
"Today, we had productive talks with Minister Jeyhun Bayramov on bilateral cooperation. Our already great cooperation was formalized legally in February this year. High-level contacts between our countries are carried out regularly," he said.
OSCE Minsk Group "no longer exists" - Lavrov
The Russian top diplomat stressed that the OSCE Minsk Group no longer exists.
“We do not discuss the OSCE Minsk Group (MG), because it has ceased its activities. We discussed the processes of post-conflict resolution. The basis for these new processes lies in three tripartite statements by the leaders of Russia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia,” Lavrov underlined.
"The three statements signed by the leaders of Russia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia are now widely recognized as the basis for a final solution to all the remaining issues,” he added.
The second meeting of the commission on border delimitation between Azerbaijan and Armenia has been scheduled for Moscow, Lavrov said, answering a question from Trend's journalist during the joint press conference.
"The meeting is scheduled to be held in Moscow, and the sides are currently choosing dates that will be more convenient for them. Thus, both sides haven't changed their minds and are willing to participate in the commission meeting," Lavrov said.
"We had discussions with both the prime minister and the foreign minister of Armenia during my visit to Yerevan a couple of weeks ago. They confirmed their readiness to participate in the second meeting within the delimitation commission," Lavrov concluded.
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