Azerbaijani FM: Such threats as Karabakh conflict damage co-op within EaP
Baku, Azerbaijan, June 22
By Elchin Mehdiyev - Trend:
Such real threats as the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict seriously damage cooperation within the Eastern Partnership, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov said.
He was speaking June 22 in Minsk at the tenth informal meeting of foreign ministers of the Eastern Partnership member countries.
In his speech, the minister touched on the development of relations between Azerbaijan and the EU and cooperation issues as part of the Eastern Partnership program.
The minister emphasized that 2017 became a turning point in the development of relations between Azerbaijan and the EU, reminding about the visit of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev to the EU headquarters and the start of negotiations on a strategic partnership agreement between the EU and Azerbaijan.
Mammadyarov touched upon issues of cooperation in the fields of transport, energy, ICT within the Eastern Partnership program.
The minister noted that the launch of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway creates important opportunities in the context of cooperation with the EU in the fields of transport and coordination.
He reminded that the opening ceremony of the Southern Gas Corridor took place, the TANAP project is already being completed, and that the work on the TAP project is on schedule.
Mammadyarov drew attention to the fact that the Southern Gas Corridor opens wide opportunities for cooperation in the energy sector.
Speaking about the visa liberalization between Azerbaijan and the EU, the foreign minister stressed the existence of prospects for cooperation between the parties in this sphere.
“Armenia must first withdraw its troops from the occupied Azerbaijani territories,” he added. “The continuation of the occupation poses a serious threat to peace and security in the region. If the Armenian foreign minister talks about peace, Armenia must bear responsibility regarding security as well, and withdraw its troops from occupied territories of Azerbaijan.”
The minister added that Azerbaijan pays special attention to contacts with the EU.
He also stressed that the relations between Azerbaijan and the EU within the Eastern Partnership will continue to develop.