UK contemplates allocating more funding for Karabakh’s demining - envoy
By Vugar Khalilov
British Ambassador to Azerbaijan James Sharp has stated that his country is contemplating allocating more funding to Azerbaijan’s demining effort in the liberated lands, Azernews reports.
"The UK is pleased to assist Azerbaijan in the demining process. It is great to see that some territories have already been cleared of mines. We are always looking for new opportunities to provide more funding in this direction. I hope that we will announce new funding soon," Sharp said.
UK has already contributed 500,000 pounds ($608,000) to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to assist the Azerbaijan National Agency for Mine Action (ANAMA), he added.
The ambassador added that British corporations give technical advice, non-technical services, and mine action guidelines to Azerbaijan.
"We continue to encourage both sides to accelerate the peace process. We also support the EU's efforts to assist Azerbaijan and Armenia in this process. This is a very long process, but we are already seeing positive changes that have not been seen in the last 30 years," Sharp stressed.
In a video address posted on the embassy's Twitter account on September 2, 2021, Sharp said that landmines and unexploded ordnances in the liberated areas pose a threat to people’s lives and there have been over 150 victims of mine explosions following the 2020 war.
He described the former conflict zone as one of the world’s most mine-littered areas based on his own observations.
Therefore, Britain as a leading country in mine clearance, along with international organizations, takes active measures in the demining activities on Azerbaijan’s liberated territories, he said.
ANAMA, along with the partner countries, carries out demining activities on its liberated territories. Moreover, the State Border Service and the Defence Ministry also demine the liberated lands.
Earlier, ANAMA chairman Vugar Suleymanov said that his agency inked a contract with British RPS Energy Ltd. for aerial surveillance in demining operations in the liberated lands, Azernews reports.
Armenia deliberately and constantly planted mines on Azerbaijani territories, in violation of the 1949 Geneva Convention, thereby being a major threat to regional peace, security and cooperation.
Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a Russia-brokered peace agreement on November 10, 2020, to end 44-day of war and work toward a comprehensive resolution.
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