Mahmud Mammad-Guliyev: Armenia’s refusal to return occupied lands leaves it out of regional coop
Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister Mahmud Mammad-Guliyev has attended a meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) in Armenia.
Mammad-Guliyev said at the meeting that the military conflict and the ongoing occupation does not allow making full use of the region’s economic and trade potential, Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hikmat Hajiyev told APA.
The deputy minister added that Armenia's refusal to return the occupied lands and to withdraw its troops from has left this country out of regional cooperation in the trade, investment, transport, energy and other areas. He added that countries in the region should respect cooperate and establish trade relations on the basis of respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty and in compliance with international law, saying the ongoing occupation of Azerbaijani territories is a bitter reality that exists in the region. He also stressed that problems should be referred to as they are.
The deputy minister reminded that BSEC’s goals are to create a place of stability and peace where one state does not make claims for another’s territorial integrity and natural resources, noting that Azerbaijan does not have any claims against anyone and instead is striving for investment, trade, and mutually beneficial cooperation in a state of stable, trustworthy and friendly neighborhood.
Within the framework of the 38th ministerial meeting, chairmanship of the BSEC has been given to Azerbaijan in accordance with rotation rules and alphabetical order. In the second half of 2018, Azerbaijan will chair the organization. During this chairmanship, Azerbaijan's priority will be to develop transport hubs in the BSEC region. At the same time, special attention will be paid to developing regional cooperation, in areas such as tourism, agriculture and connectivity. Also, a variety of major events, seminars and conferences are planned to be held in Azerbaijan during the chairmanship.
At the end of 2018, Azerbaijan will host the 39th meeting of the BSEC Council of Foreign Ministers.
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