U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken made phone call to Azerbaijani President-UPDATED

Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Antony Blinken, U.S. Secretary of State

© APA | Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Antony Blinken, U.S. Secretary of State

# 03 April 2024 19:13 (UTC +04:00)

On April 3, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken made a phone call to President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, APA reports.

Antony Blinken said he received reports that the trilateral meeting between the U.S., the European Union, and Armenia on April 5 had caused concern on the Azerbaijani side, and stressed the importance of clarifying the issue by speaking with President Ilham Aliyev regarding this matter.

The Secretary of State pointed out that the main focus of the mentioned meeting will be on the economic development issues of Armenia.

President Ilham Aliyev highlighted that, based on the information he received, discussions during the preparation process for the trilateral meeting included topics such as military support to Armenia, joint military exercises, the establishment of military infrastructure along border areas with Azerbaijan, and Armenia's arming through the EU's European Peace Facility and funded by the US budget. The head of state emphasized that such steps carrying an anti-Azerbaijan nature, including the policy of arming Armenia by France, will exacerbate arms race in the region and lead to provocations.

During the telephone conversation, Antony Blinken underlined that the meeting on April 5 is not against Azerbaijan.

Discussions were also held regarding peace negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan. President Ilham Aliyev said that the negotiations held in Berlin by the foreign ministers regarding the text of the peace agreement were beneficial in terms of advancing the process, and emphasized the need to accelerate the negotiations.

In addition, the head of state emphasized that the accusations voiced in the West about Azerbaijan intending to attack Armenia are completely baseless.

President Ilham Aliyev stated that the French Minister of Foreign Affairs told lies during a press conference held with Antony Blinken in Paris on April 2 by accusing Azerbaijan of not recognizing Armenia's territorial integrity and posing a threat to Armenia.

The head of state highlighted Azerbaijan's adherence to the statement adopted during the Prague meeting in 2022 and the Almaty Declaration.

According to President Ilham Aliyev, the non-transparent preparation, lack of inclusivity, and failure to postpone the trilateral meeting scheduled for April 5 between the United States, the European Union, and Armenia, despite Azerbaijan's justified concerns, will lead to escalation of tension and creation of new dividing lines rather than peace and cooperation in the South Caucasus.

During the conversation, they also touched upon bilateral cooperation between Azerbaijan and the United States. Antony Blinken referenced his previous discussions with President Ilham Aliyev during the Munich Security Conference in February this year, affirming the U.S.'s intention to expand cooperation with Azerbaijan across various sectors. He also mentioned the contacts between the delegations of the two countries within the framework of COP29.

President Ilham Aliyev reiterated Azerbaijan's keen interest in advancing bilateral relations with the United States in the areas previously discussed during the Munich Security Conference, noting that COP29 presents excellent opportunities for cooperation between the two nations in the field of climate change and green technologies.

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On April 3, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken made a phone call to the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, APA reports.

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