By Ayya Lmahamad
Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov has said that Armenia attempts to prevent progress in the South Caucasus by obstructing talks over unblocking regional communications, the Foreign Ministry has reported.
He made the remarks in an address to the 37th meeting of the Council of GUAM Foreign Ministers.
“Trilateral working group dealing with the opening of communications has started to work on concrete directions in the region. Despite the fact that the opening of communications can be a critical and achievable breakthrough, Armenia attempts to prevent progress by obstructing negotiations and resorting to delaying tactics,” he said.
Bayramov stressed that the Karabakh conflict's resolution opened up new perspectives for regional cooperation, development and prosperity through the normalization of Armenian-Azerbaijani relations.
The minister underlined that the re-vitalization of communications will significantly boost trade and transportation through Armenia and Azerbaijan for the benefit of both of these countries and their partners.
“It will be a significant factor of normalization and play its positive role for laying down the conditions for sustainable peace and stability in the region and beyond,” the minister stated.
Bayramov noted that the reconstruction of Azerbaijan’s liberated territories is in a full swing. He emphasized that country’s vision for the post-conflict reconstruction is centered on people’s needs and priorities.
“Securing political, legal, economic, and social conditions needed for livelihoods and dignity of IDPs are among our top priorities. Azerbaijan is resolute to re-integrate its citizens of Armenian origin residing in the conflict-affected territories into its political, social, economic space, guaranteeing the same rights and freedoms with all the citizens of Azerbaijan regardless of their ethnic, religious affiliation,” Bayramov stressed.
The minister underlined that massive mine contamination of the liberated territories seriously impedes the realization of wide-ranging reconstruction plans, and affects the realization of the inalienable right of the hundreds of thousands of IDPs to return to their homes in safety.
Bayramov called on the international community to exert pressure on Armenia to abandon revanchist approaches and instead, seize the unique opportunity for sustainable peace and development.
“Full implementation of the trilateral statements both in letter and spirit has no alternative on the way to eliminating all the consequences of the war and building a prosperous future for all countries and their peoples in the region,” he said.
Cooperation with GUAM
Speaking about cooperation with GUAM, Bayramov stated that it is based on shared commitment and respect to the universally recognized rules and principles of international law, mutual trust, and respect for each other’s interests.
“I believe our cooperation can further develop by strengthening the project-oriented dimension of activities. It is necessary to continue focusing primarily on joint economic projects in spheres like trade, transportation, ICT, and tourism, as they will gain new opportunities for cooperation in the post-pandemic period,” he added.
The minister stressed that Azerbaijan remains a strong supporter of enhanced cooperation within the framework of the “GUAM+” format aimed at ensuring peace, security, stability, and prosperity at both regional and inter-regional levels.
Moreover, Bayramov highlighted that active collaboration and mutual support in advancing the interest within the international organizations remain essential.
“In this vein, we invite the GUAM Member States to join the statement on the impact of landmines on human rights initiated by Azerbaijan and to instruct their permanent missions in Geneva in this regard,” the minister said.
He added that the joint statement will be delivered on behalf of like-minded countries on September 24 under agenda item 4 of the 48th session of the UN Human Rights Council.
In conclusion, the minister reiterated Azerbaijan’s interest to advance partnership towards greater mutual benefit and prosperity.
Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad
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