Baku, Azerbaijan, May 13
By Elchin Mehdiyev - Trend:
The four resolutions on the immediate and complete liberation of the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts have not been fulfilled by Armenia up till now as a result of the approach, based on double standards, adopted by the UN Security Council, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov said.
Mammadyarov made this statement at a meeting of the Atlantic Treaty Association (ATA). It was held on the eve of the meeting of foreign ministers of the NATO member-states (to be held in Antalya on May 13-14), the Azerbaijani foreign ministry said.
The minister said that after gaining independence, Azerbaijan faced many challenges.
"In particular, Armenia occupied more than 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory - Nagorno-Karabakh and the adjacent districts, more than one million people became refugees and IDPs as a result of Armenian aggression, which lasted for more than 23 years," he said.
Mammadyarov said that Azerbaijan is contributing to the NATO's ISAF mission in Afghanistan.
"Azerbaijan will participate in ISAF until the end of the mission," he said. "The country renders substantial military, transit, material assistance within this mission."
He said that Azerbaijan will continue contributing as part of the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission, which has begun in Afghanistan since January 2015.
Mammadyarov said that despite all difficulties, aggression and occupation of its lands by Armenia, Azerbaijan successfully developed in the post-independence period.
During the last 10 years, the poverty rate in the country declined from 49 percent to 4 percent, GDP grew by 3.5 times and the country has become a regional leader, according to Mammadyarov.
He went on to add that all of it is a result of competent political and economic strategy, effective use of resources.
The minister said that the above mentioned issues were discussed during the meeting with Afghan officials, as well as exchange of views was held regarding the issues of the Azerbaijani model of development and experience of the country.
Mammadyarov said that Azerbaijan supports Afghanistan in the fields of economy, education, elimination of consequences of emergency situations.
He also informed the participants of the meeting about the courses, which are conducted by the University of ADA, training programs organized by the National Agency for Mine Action of Azerbaijan (ANAMA) for Afghan specialists, issuing manuals for the local population about the mine safety.
He said that the aid will be continuous, and the issue of free education for Afghan specialists at the Academy of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of Azerbaijan is being considered now.
During the meeting, Azerbaijani foreign minister answered numerous questions of its participants related to the country's energy policy, TANAP and TAP projects, geopolitical significance and the role of Azerbaijan in the region.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the US are currently holding peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented the UN Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.
Edited by CN