Azerbaijani FM meets with head of ICRC office

Politics Materials 25 February 2023 16:05 (UTC +04:00)
Azerbaijani FM meets with head of ICRC office

BAKU, Azerbaijan, February 25. Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov has met with the Head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) office in Azerbaijan Dragana Kojic, Trend reports citing the Foreign Ministry.

During the meeting, issues of cooperation between the ICRC and Azerbaijan, the situation around the Lachin-Khankendi road, as well as the activities of the ICRC in the Azerbaijani city of Khankendi were discussed.

At the meeting, Bayramov noted the importance of the activities of the ICRC in Azerbaijan.

Satisfaction was expressed with the efforts to ensure the free movement of vehicles along the Lachin-Khankendi road, including the transport of the ICRC, goods and citizens.

The importance of eliminating the situation that caused the peaceful protests was also noted.

The minister stressed that, taking into account the fact of passing more than 3,000 vehicles along the Lachin-Khankendi road in recent months, as well as other facts, the assertions of the Armenian side that Azerbaijan allegedly "blocked" the road, impose a "blockade" against Armenian residents and that a "tense humanitarian situation" arose, are unfounded.

At the same time, it was noted that back in December 2022, the Azerbaijani side expressed its readiness, if necessary, to provide assistance to local residents of Armenian origin directly or through the ICRC.

During the meeting, there was also an exchange of views on other issues of mutual interest.

The peaceful protest on Azerbaijan’s Lachin-Khankendi road against the illegal exploitation of Azerbaijan's mineral resources in the area of Russian peacekeepers' temporary deployment has been going on since December 12, 2022.

Previously, following the talks with the Russian peacekeepers' command on December 3 and 7, 2022, a group of experts from the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources, the State Property Service under the Ministry of Economy, and AzerGold CJSC were going to begin preliminary monitoring of the illicit mineral resource exploitation, as well as emerging environmental implications on Azerbaijani lands, where the Russian peacekeepers are temporarily deployed, on December 10, 2022.

The expert team was expected to inspect the environmental condition at the 'Gizilbulagh' gold deposit and the 'Damirli' copper-molybdenum deposit, monitor various areas, organize cadastral property records, assess potential risks and threats to the environment, as well as to underground and surface water sources.

However, the expert group, accompanied by Russian peacekeepers, faced provocations when arriving in the monitoring area. The planned initial inspection and monitoring did not take place due to the fact that the Russian peacekeepers not only did not create necessary conditions but also prevented the entire process from carrying on.