Azerbaijan, EU mull regional situation, eco-activists' ongoing protests
Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell have discussed the unfolding regional developments, including the events that triggered protests by representatives of the Azerbaijani civil society organizations over environmental problems in Karabakh, Azernews reports, citing the ministry.
In their telephone conversation on December 22, the diplomats also discussed the mission of the European Union in Armenia, as well as the current issues on the cooperation agenda between Azerbaijan and the EU.
Bayramov stressed that the reason for the legitimate peaceful protests of Azerbaijanis on the Lachin road was the illegal exploitation of mineral deposits in Karabakh, environmental problems, and misuse of the Lachin road, which was intended only for humanitarian purposes. In this regard, the importance of stopping illegal activities contrary to the national legislation of Azerbaijan was emphasized.
The Azerbaijani minister emphasized that statements claiming that the Lachin road was closed by Azerbaijan are completely unfounded. He pointed out that a number of vehicles pass through the road on a regular basis during the day, and that there are no obstacles related to the supply of goods for the use of local residents or the provision of necessary medical services.
In turn, Borel noted that the current tension in the region is the cause for concern. In this vein, the importance of commitment to the existing peace agenda between the two countries was emphasized.
To recap, the pickets on the Khankandi-Shusha section of the road are urging the Russian peacekeepers to prevent the separatists and their foreign patrons from brazenly plundering Azerbaijani mineral resources. The current situation in the area is a direct result of the Azerbaijani public dissatisfaction with illegal economic activities, theft of natural resources, and environmental damage to the territory of Azerbaijan.
Following discussions with the command of the Russian peacekeeping contingent on December 3 and 7, 2022, Azerbaijani specialists from the Ministries of Economy, Ecology, and Natural Resources, the State Service for Property Issues under the Ministry of Economy, and AzerGold CJSC were to conduct primary monitoring on illegal exploitation of mineral deposits on Azerbaijani territory in Karabakh. However, the monitoring failed due to the provocation of ethnic Armenians.
Sabina Mammadli is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @SabinaMmdl
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