Envoy: UK pleased to demine Karabakh
By Vugar Khalilov
UK ambassador to Azerbaijan James Sharp has stated that Britain is pleased to take part in demining Azerbaijan’s liberated lands, Trend has reported.
Sharp made the remarks at the British Council's three-year curriculum completion celebration.
"We are very pleased to take part in the demining process on the liberated lands. The process is going well. This is a very important moment for the return of internally displaced persons to their homes," Sharp stressed.
He underlined the importance of demining the liberated territories to return internally displaced people to their homes as quickly as possible.
The envoy emphasized that a big number of UK firms are presently working in the demining effort in Karabakh.
"Level of teaching in the training centers of the British Council in different cities of Azerbaijan is extremely impressive. I was able to visit learning centers all over Azerbaijan - from Zagatala to Lankaran and from Barda to Masazir and I was impressed by the excellent level of teaching, the enthusiasm of children in developing new skills," Sharp stressed.
The envoy added that this programme was implemented during tough times for both children and teachers because of the COVID-19 epidemic and then the conflict in Karabakh in 2020.
These problems could not shake the teachers' perseverance and determination in the training institutes, he noted.
The UK contributed over AZN 1 million (£500,000) to Azerbaijan’s recovery efforts and demining activities in its liberated lands, the UK embassy reported earlier.
Sharp said in a video address posted on the embassy's Twitter account on September 2 that landmines and unexploded ordnance 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, the UK 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.
It should be noted that 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.
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.
Previously, on June 12, Azerbaijan handed over 15 Armenian prisoners in exchange for a map detailing the location of 97,000 mines in formerly-occupied Aghdam.
On July 3, Armenia submitted to Azerbaijan maps of about 92,000 anti-tank and anti-personnel mines planted during the occupation of Fuzuli and Zangilan regions.
Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a Russia-brokered peace agreement on November 10, 2020, to end 44 days of fighting and work toward a comprehensive resolution.