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Ambassador: Historic moment begins in Azerbaijan-Palestine relations

Politics Materials 23 February 2010 14:16 (UTC +04:00)
The opening of the Palestinian Embassy in Baku will contribute to strengthening the political and economic ties between the two countries, Palestinian Authority in Uzbekistan Ambassador, who is also accredited in Azerbaijan, Asad Al-Asad said.
Ambassador: Historic moment begins in Azerbaijan-Palestine relations

Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 23 / Trend U. Sadikhova /

The opening of the Palestinian Embassy in Baku will contribute to strengthening the political and economic ties between the two countries, Palestinian Authority in Uzbekistan Ambassador, who is also accredited in Azerbaijan, Asad Al-Asad said.

"This is a historic moment in strengthening Azerbaijan-Palestine relations," Al-Asad told Trend . The question of opening the embassy is still under discussion, "but we hope it will be resolved soon," he said.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will attend the opening ceremony, he added.

The question of opening the embassy in Baku was discussed during the first visit of Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki to Azerbaijan in late October 2009.

The appointment of the first Palestinian ambassador-resident to Azerbaijan will take effect after the issue is resolved, Al-Asad said.

"We have been negotiating with the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry for four months to receive a building and a residence for Palestine's ambassador in accordance with the decree of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev," he said.

According to Al-Asad, the Palestinian leadership hopes that by opening the embassy in Baku, political and economic ties between Palestine and Azerbaijan will strengthen and expand.

"The Palestinian leadership pays special attention to Azerbaijan. So, it is necessary to strengthen and develop the existing relations," Al-Asad said. "We strive to create fully diplomatic relations with Azerbaijan, and appreciate Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev's decision to provide the Palestinians with a building for the embassy and ambassador's residence."

Al-Assad also connects Abbas's upcoming visit to Azerbaijan with the launching of the embassy.

As to political relations, he added that both sides suffer from a common occupation policy.

"If one looks at the problem with occupation in Azerbaijan and Palestine, one can immediately reveal similarities," Al-Asad said. "I believe that Azerbaijan could play a certain role in resolving the Palestinian problem given that Azerbaijan has a strong economic and political position in the South Caucasus, and has good relations with Israel."

According to the ambassador, the Palestinians have great hopes that Arab and Islamic countries will work together to settle the conflict in the Middle East because, as history shows, Western countries, including the United States, are more and more inclined to support Israel.

"The Palestinian people have a strong will and desire. We will move till the end towards the creation of an independent state," Al-Asad said. He aded that that Azerbaijan and Palestine, as OIC member states, must implement the objectives of the Islamic world and cooperate in resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh and Palestinian conflicts.

On the other hand, Al-Asad said that Arab countries, especially those who have strong ties with Armenia, can also contribute to the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

According to the official, relations between Arab countries and Armenia can be used to resolve the conflict and the problems of Azerbaijani refugees.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and 7 surrounding districts. Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994.

The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia, France, and the U.S. - are currently holding the peace negotiations.

Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh region and the occupied territories.

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