By Nazrin Gadimova
The United Kingdom does not recognize the separatist regime of Nagorno-Karabakh, State Minister for European Affairs David Lidington said during political consultations between the Foreign Ministries of Azerbaijan and the UK held in London.
The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry reported that Deputy Foreign Minister Khalaf Khalafov headed Azerbaijani delegation, while David Lidington represented the UK.
The parties believe that the political dialogue between Azerbaijan and Great Britain is at a high level. Khalafov and Lidingston also expressed confidence that the first meeting of the joint intergovernmental commission, held on February 11, 2016 in London, will contribute to the expansion of economic cooperation between the parties, especially in the non-energy sector.
The current state of the peace talks on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict was also discussed at the meeting. Khalafov praised the British position regarding the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan and expressed interest in deepening bilateral cooperation with the United Kingdom.
He also noted that Azerbaijan expects the United Kingdom to take the relevant steps to prevent illegal visits to the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.
Lidington, in turn, said that the UK attaches special importance to cooperation with Azerbaijan and stressed the existing potential for expansion of bilateral relations. Noting that the country will continue to support the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, he added that the United Kingdom does not recognize the separatist regime in Nagorno-Karabakh region and did not have any relationship with it at the official level.
Earlier, at a meeting with UK State Minister for Trade and Investment Francis Maude Azerbaijan’s Economy Minister Shahin Mustafayev submitted a list of companies engaged in illegal activities in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.
Mustafayev noted that this is unacceptable, and the British government should take measures to prevent such incidents.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surround districts that make up 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory, are under occupation of Armenian armed forces.
Nazrin Gadimova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @NazrinGadimova
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