Azerbaijani Deputy FM attends the meeting of the CIS Council of Foreign Ministers

Khalaf Khalafov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan

© APA | Khalaf Khalafov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan

# 14 April 2023 23:20 (UTC +04:00)

On April 14, 2023, Khalaf Khalafov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan, spoke at a limited meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) held in Samarkand, Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry told APA.

The Deputy Minister stated in his speech that our country values mutually beneficial relationships within the framework of the CIS, as well as the continuance of productive engagement at the level of heads of government, including foreign ministries.

During the speech, it was stated that the CIS is a mechanism of political consultations where, in addition to issues of mutual cooperation, current issues of security and the fight against new challenges and threats are discussed in the modern world. It was brought to attention that CIS countries continue to expand cooperation in the fields of education, science, culture, health, youth and sports in the current difficult international conditions.

The deputy minister then talked about Azerbaijan's ongoing efforts to eliminate the consequences of the past conflict, including the strengthening of peace and security in the region, the projects implemented by the Azerbaijani government for the large-scale restoration and development of territories liberated from occupation, and the process of reintegration of the population of Armenian origin.

Stating that against the background of the positive steps taken by Azerbaijan, Armenia continues to escalate the situation, the deputy minister spoke about the other party's attempts to undermine the consistent efforts of Azerbaijan and the international community as a whole towards the establishment of peace and normalization of relations between the two countries by using various provocative actions. In this regard, the deputy minister said that the servicemen of the Azerbaijan Army were martyred and wounded as a result of the intensive firing of the units of the Armenian armed forces from the direction of the Digh village of the Gorus region of Armenia on the positions of the Azerbaijan Army in the territory of the Lachin region of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

The deputy minister brought to the attention of the meeting participants that against the background of the international community's serious calls for peace agreement negotiations, such provocations by Armenia are a clear example of its lack of interest in the peace process.

In his speech, the deputy minister, who clarified the Armenian side's assumptions about Azerbaijan's alleged blockade of the Lachin road, emphasized that illicit exploitation of Azerbaijan's natural resources, transportation of these resources to Armenia, and misuse of the Lachin road, which is only intended for humanitarian purposes, are all unacceptable. He stated that such activities in sovereign Azerbaijani territory constitute a grave threat to the state's security and integrity.

In this regard, the Deputy Minister of Azerbaijan's trilateral statement from Armenia dated November 10, 2020, as well as all the provisions of the Prague and Sochi agreements, in particular, ensuring the withdrawal of illegal Armenian armed groups from the territories of Azerbaijan where the Russian peacekeeping contingent is temporarily stationed, as well as the opening of transport communications, stressed that he expects to take real steps towards the continuation of the negotiation process regarding the delimitation of the state border and the normalization of relations between the two countries.