Allegations about third forces near Azerbaijani-Iranian border - unfounded, MFA says (UPDATE)
Details added, first version posted 10:27
BAKU, Azerbaijan, Oct. 4
Allegations that third forces are located near the Azerbaijani-Iranian border are unfounded, the head of the press service of the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Leyla Abdullayeva said, commenting on an interview of the Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian, Trend reports on October 4.
"Firstly, we would like to emphasize that, as Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian noted in an interview with a local TV channel, relations between the peoples of the Azerbaijan and Iran are at the highest level. Relations between Azerbaijan and Iran are based on historical ties, friendship and cooperation," Abdullaeva said.
She noted that Azerbaijan doesn't accept statements about the presence of any third forces near the Azerbaijani-Iranian border or about the incitement attempts of these forces, because these statements are unfounded.
"In general, the presence on the territory of Azerbaijan of any forces, including terrorist ones, which may pose a threat to our state and neighboring countries, cannot be a subject of discussion. Unfortunately, even during the 44-day Patriotic War, some parties voiced such unfounded allegations. We said it back then and we're saying it now - such allegations are unfounded, and to this day the Azerbaijani side was not presented with any relevant evidence to prove the opposite," Abdullayeva said.
Abdullayeva stressed that the inviolability of internationally recognized borders is one of the fundamental principles that Azerbaijan is always guided by.
"It was Azerbaijan that for decades suffered from the consequences of military aggression and violation of its international borders. More than 130 kilometers of our border with Iran were under Armenian occupation for many years. Unfortunately, over the years we have not heard from the friendly Iranian state such a harsh reaction as now, regarding the occupation of a part of our border. Azerbaijan is a supporter of establishing relations with all countries on the basis of the principle of respect for internationally recognized borders, which is the invariable policy of our country," Abdullayeva said.
"Azerbaijan announced its readiness to normalize relations with Armenia on the basis of fundamental principles of international law and to begin negotiations on the delimitation of the border. The process of delimiting the border between Azerbaijan and Armenia is a bilateral issue, and the recent positive signals from the opposite side allows us to hope for the development of this process in a constructive manner," Abdullayeva said.
Also, commenting on the statement on the intervention of external forces in Azerbaijan, Abdullayeva stressed that Azerbaijan has always pursued an independent foreign policy and has repeatedly proved this with concrete steps over the course of 30 years.
"The development of friendly and good-neighborly relations with neighboring countries is one of the main priorities of Azerbaijan's foreign policy, and we are constantly taking steps in this direction," Abdullayeva said.