Azerbaijan, CICA members call for int'l support to demine Karabakh [UPDATE]

13 October 2021 12:32 (UTC+04:00)

By Vugar Khalilov

Azerbaijan, along with other CICA (Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia) members, has called for international support to clear Karabakh of Armenia-planted mines, the Foreign Ministry reported on October 13.

This was said in a relevant statement which was released at the 6th meeting of CICA foreign ministers in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.

The representatives of the member states called on the UN, other international organizations and individual states to assist the relevant countries in clearing the areas contaminated with mines and other explosives, the ministry said.

The statement described the mine threats as the main obstacle to the post-conflict recovery, reconstruction, and peace-building efforts, and stressed the importance of effective mine action to ensure peace and stability after conflict.

Deputy Foreign Minister Mahmud Mammadguliyev, who led the Azerbaijani delegation, informed the participants about the consequences of Armenia's massive contamination of Azerbaijani territories with mines and other explosives.

He underlined that Armenia is still refusing to hand over accurate maps of all minefields to Azerbaijan by violating international humanitarian law.

He reminded that Azerbaijan is ready to normalize relations with Armenia on the basis of respect for each other's sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of international borders.

Mammadguliyev spoke about the ongoing reconstruction in Azerbaijan’s lands liberated from Armenia's three-decade occupation following the 44-day war in 2020.

He noted that the liberated territories had been declared green energy zones and reconstructed in line with the "smart city" and "smart village" concepts.

The importance of involving the private sector representatives from many CICA member states in the rehabilitation of the liberated lands was described as a new example of cooperation among the member countries.

Mammadguliyev stressed that Armenia needs to demonstrate political will and a constructive approach for signing a peace agreement with Azerbaijan and solving other problems such as the delimitation and demarcation of borders.

The deputy minister recalled that Azerbaijan was one of the first countries to support the initiative to convene CICA. He underlined the steps taken by Azerbaijan as a coordinator of the confidence-building event on the development of transport corridors.

Mammadguliyev noted that the Zangazur corridor, which connects the north-south and east-west directions, has a great potential in the post-conflict normalization process, by strengthening regional peace and trust, as well as developing trade and transport.

The statement on the regional and global challenges in the CICA region, which was adopted at the meeting, emphasized the importance of further development of transport corridors and logistics centers in the CICA space, including the promotion of multi-modal corridors and digitalization in the transport sector, highlighting the importance of transport corridors for peace and economic development.

CICA is an inter-governmental forum for enhancing cooperation towards promoting peace, security, and stability in Asia.

Its key idea is based on the priority of the indivisibility of security, joint initiative, and mutually beneficial interaction of small and large states.

The idea of convening the CICA was first proposed by Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev on 5 October 1992, at the 47th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

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