Bulgaria prevents investing in Azerbaijan’s occupied territories (UPDATE)
Details added (first version posted at 12:18)
Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 29
By Azad Hasanli – Trend:
Azerbaijan appreciates Bulgaria’s constructive stance regarding prevention of any unlawful acts, including attraction of the Bulgarian capital and resources to Azerbaijan’s occupied territories, the country’s Minister of Transport Ziya Mammadov said.
He made the remarks during the Azerbaijan-Bulgaria Intergovernmental Commission meeting in Baku.
“This year, the Foreign Ministry of Azerbaijan has submitted a report on the illegal economic and other activities in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan to the international community,” the minister said.
“In accordance with the evidence presented, Armenia illegally exports natural resources from the occupied territories,” he added. “Armenia plays the role of a transit point, from where products manufactured in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, as well as mineral resources are exported to international markets.”
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.
Regarding economic cooperation, Mammadov said that Azerbaijan and Bulgaria have the necessary legal basis for mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation.
“For 5 years the trade turnover between the countries amounted to about $1 billion,” the minister said. “In 2015, the trade turnover amounted to $15 million, which is below the existing potential.”
Mammadov noted the need to carry out work in order to improve this indicator. He said that currently Azerbaijan actively cooperates with Bulgaria at different levels. The further expansion of cooperation will serve the interests of both countries, he added.
Azerbaijan is currently the most dynamically developing country in the region, in particular Azerbaijan’s GDP has tripled for 3 years, according to the minister.
“Azerbaijan is actively involved in ensuring the energy security of Europe,” he said.