Hajiyev: Armenia’s situation may improve if it ends occupation against Azerbaijan (UPDATE)
Details added (first version posted on 18:57)
Baku, Azerbaijan, July 6
Armenia, after putting an end to military occupation against Azerbaijan and building civilized relations with neighboring countries, will also be able to take advantage of the opportunities of regional cooperation, and eventually, social and economic situation of Armenia’s population may significantly improve, Spokesman of the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Hikmet Hajiyev told Trend July 6.
Hajiyev said that in the second half of 2018, in accordance with the procedural rules and in accordance with the alphabetical order, Azerbaijan will chair the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC).
“During the period of its chairmanship, the development of transport hubs will become Azerbaijan’s priority in the BSEC region,” he said. “At the same time, during the period of its chairmanship, Azerbaijan will pay special attention to the development of sectoral cooperation in such spheres as tourism, agriculture and communication. It is planned to hold a series of events, seminars and conferences at a high level on the mentioned topics. Also, at the end of 2018, Azerbaijan will host the 39th Council of BSEC Foreign Ministers.”
The objectives and intentions of the BSEC are to develop regional cooperation among member countries, create stability and space of peace where one country doesn’t raise claims regarding the territorial integrity and natural resources of another one, he noted.
“Azerbaijan encourages making investments, energy partnership, transport arteries, trade and tourism and mutually beneficial cooperation as a whole to ensure environment where reliable and good-neighborly relations prevail,” he added.
Hajiyev said that in the near future the Azerbaijani delegation at the BSEC Headquarters will widely inform the member states about Azerbaijan’s priorities during its chairmanship period.
“But we should also call the existing problems by their names,” he noted. “The continuing military aggression of Armenia against Azerbaijan and the continued occupation of Azerbaijani territories threaten regional comprehensive cooperation in the BSEC area and hamper the implementation of the upcoming goals and intentions.”
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 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.