Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan and the U.S. Secretary of State had an exchange of congratulatory letters on the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries

elmarmamediyarovForeign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov and the U.S. Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson had an exchange of congratulatory letters on the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

In the letter addressed to the U.S. Secretary of State Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov stated that throughout the past 25 years the relations between our two nations has transformed into strategic partnership with a distinct peculiarity devoted to development of our collaboration in political, economic and security areas.

Minister mentioned that nowadays, Azerbaijan closely cooperates with the United States on energy issues by contributing to energy security and energy diversification in Europe. Noting the successful cooperation of the two countries on counterterrorism and non-proliferation issues, Foreign Minister also added that Azerbaijan was one of the first countries that provided multifaceted support for the United States operations in Afghanistan.

Minister Elmar Mammadyarov stressed that Azerbaijan relies on honest mediation of the United States on the settlement of Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno Karabakh conflict and reiterated that the conflict must be resolved by peaceful means on the basis of relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions.

In his letter addressed to Elmar Mammadyarov the U.S. Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson stated that the United States has worked closely with Azerbaijan on energy. He also mentioned that the United States supports Azerbaijan’s efforts to diversify its economy and increase its economic opportunity.

Secretary of State noted that Azerbaijan was one of the first countries to offer support after 9/11. He also added that the United States remains committed to facilitating a peaceful resolution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Rex W. Tillerson congratulated the people of Azerbaijan on behalf of the American people for 25 years of friendship and cooperation.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan


American co-chair of OSCE MG to visit Baku this week

Richard Hoagland, the U.S. co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, will visit Azerbaijan by the end of this week, the U.S. Embassy in Azerbaijan told Trend.

He is expected to hold meetings with Azerbaijani officials.

Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov has earlier said the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs will visit the South Caucasus region in March to mull the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement.

The OSCE Minsk Group, the activities of which have become known as the Minsk Process, works to find a peaceful solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict for over two decades, but in vain.

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.


Statement by the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group

Statement by the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group.

The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group (Ambassadors Igor Popov of the Russian Federation, Stephane Visconti of France and Richard Hoagland of the United States of America) met yesterday with the Foreign Minister of Armenia Edward Nalbandian and the Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan Elmar Mammadyarov, separately and then jointly. The Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk, also participated in the meetings.

The Co-Chairs discussed with the Ministers the current situation along the Line of Contact and the Armenia–Azerbaijan border. The Co-Chairs reiterated that there is no alternative to a peaceful solution to the conflict and that war is not an option, and called upon the sides to exercise restraint on the terrain as well as in their public communications and to prepare their population for peace and not for war. The Co-Chairs also urged the Sides to adhere strictly to the 1994/95 ceasefire agreements that constitute the foundation of the cessation of hostilities. The Co-Chairs recalled the May 2011 joint statements of their Presidents in Deauville emphasizing that the use of force would only bring more suffering and devastation and would be condemned by the international community. The Co-Chairs shared their views with the Sides on the steps which should be taken toward implementing decisions from the 2016 Summits in Vienna and St. Petersburg aimed at stabilizing the situation in the conflict zone.

The Co-Chairs stressed to the Ministers the need to demonstrate greater flexibility and to resume comprehensive negotiations on reaching a lasting settlement as soon as possible.

The Co-Chairs recognized that the Armenian authorities’ recent decision to return the body of an Azerbaijani serviceman was a helpful humanitarian gesture. The two Ministers reiterated their commitment to strictly observe their international humanitarian obligations including those of the Astrakhan Declaration of October 2010 issued by the Presidents of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and the Russian Federation.

The Co-Chairs are aware that a so-called constitutional referendum is scheduled to take place in Nagorno-Karabakh on February 20, 2017. Although the Co-Chairs note that the de-facto Nagorno-Karabakh authorities view the use of such a procedure as an effort to organize the public life of their population, they underscore again that no countries, including Armenia and Azerbaijan, recognize Nagorno-Karabakh as an independent and sovereign state. Accordingly, the Co-Chairs do not accept the results of the referendum on February 20 as affecting the legal status of Nagorno-Karabakh. The Co-Chairs also stress that the results in no way prejudge the final status of Nagorno-Karabakh or the outcome of the ongoing negotiations to bring a lasting and peaceful settlement to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

The Co-Chairs plan to travel to the region in March.

Source: U.S. Embassy Baku

Armenia disrupts all attempts to settle Karabakh issue peacefully

elmarmamediyarovUnresolved armed conflicts, terrorism, violent extremism, aggressive separatism, intolerance and discrimination on ethnic and religious grounds continue to represent the most serious challenges and are among the main obstacles to development, said Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov.

He made the remarks at the General Debate of the 71st session of the UN General Assembly in New York, US.

The outcome document of the United Nations summit for the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda stated that there could be no sustainable development without peace and no peace without sustainable development, recalling the rights and obligations of states under international law and reaffirming the need to respect the territorial integrity and political independence of states, said Mammadyarov.

Over the period passed since the last General Debate, no substantive progress has been achieved in the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, noted the minister.

Armenia continues to occupy the territories of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven adjacent districts, in flagrant violation of international law and resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884 adopted in 1993 by the UN Security Council, he added.

Its engagement in the conflict settlement process is nothing but imitation, he said.

Mammadyarov noted that Azerbaijan can’t use economic potential of the occupied territories.

“The disruption of communications as a direct consequence of military occupation of territories is the serious obstacle to full-fledged socio-economic development of our country and the realization of region’s untapped economic perspective,” said the minister. “Similarly, full potential of the region for intra and trans-regional connectivity remains under-utilized.”

The humanitarian consequences of the conflict are equally harsh and necessitate urgent solutions, he said.

As a direct impact of massive displacement of people from their places of origin, close to one million refugees and IDPs continue to be deprived of their basic human rights and fundamental freedoms, most notably, the right to home and property, he added.

Further continuation of this situation is intolerable, added the minister.

Mammadyarov said also that Armenia’s policy and practices in the occupied Azerbaijani territories undermine the prospects of achieving a political settlement of the conflict and pose an imminent threat to peace, security and stability in the region.

Azerbaijan has made it clear on numerous occasions that the unlawful presence of the armed forces of Armenia in the occupied Azerbaijani territories is the major destabilizing factor with the potential of escalation at any time with unpredictable consequences and the main cause of tensions and incidents in the conflict zone, said the minister.

He also noted that instead of engaging in negotiations in good faith, Armenia demonstratively disrupts any attempt to settle the conflict by peaceful means.

In total disregard of the demands of the UN Security Council and in flagrant violation of international law, Armenia refuses to withdraw its troops from Azerbaijan, prevents the hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijani forcibly displaced persons from returning to their homes, and tries to further consolidate the status quo by altering the physical, demographic and cultural character of the occupied territories – a worrying development that was confirmed by the OSCE fact-finding missions, he added.

Moreover, Armenia frequently resorts to armed provocations trying to divert attention from the core, substantive issues of the peace process to technical aspects of the ceasefire, noted Mammadyarov.

Most recently, in early April 2016, Armenia conducted large-scale attacks against the civilian population of Azerbaijan, he said. It subjected the densely populated areas of Azerbaijan, including schools, hospitals, and places of worship, to intensive fire with heavy artillery and large-caliber weapons.

“As a result of Armenia’s reckless attacks, a large number of Azerbaijani civilians, including children, women and elderly were killed or seriously wounded,” said the minister. “Without timely use of effective civil defense measures, the number of casualties among the population would be significantly higher. Armenia also systematically mutilated the bodies of fallen Azerbaijani soldiers.”

He went on to add that during those attacks, 34 towns and villages in Azerbaijan suffered severe destructions. Substantial damages were inflicted upon private and public property, including civilian critical infrastructure. In particular, hundreds of civilian buildings, among them residential houses, schools, kindergartens, cultural centers and other civilian facilities were ruined.

Armenia’s direct and deliberate attacks against the Azerbaijani civilian population, as well as inhuman acts against Azerbaijani military servicemen, during its offensive action in April 2016, constitute yet another serious violation of international humanitarian and human rights law by Armenia, noted Mammadyarov.

“By its deliberate, offensive actions, Armenia undermined the ceasefire regime established in 1994 and endangered the prospects for the political settlement of the conflict. Having received an effective response from Azerbaijan, Armenia was forced to ask for a ceasefire, which was agreed under the mediation efforts of the Russian Federation on April 5, 2016, in Moscow, at the meeting of Chiefs of Defense of Armenia and Azerbaijan,” he said.

Despite that, it continues to violate the ceasefire, he noted adding that moreover, Armenia is amassing forces and building heavily reinforced military fortifications in the occupied Azerbaijani territories.

Armenia started intensive military activity in the occupied Aghdam district of Azerbaijan on Sept. 19, 2016, said the minister.

Armenia continues to challenge and tries to undermine the efforts of the international community, including the presidents of the OSCE MG co-chairing countries, aimed at reaching a breakthrough at the peace talks and getting Armenia’s troops out of sovereign lands of Azerbaijan, Mammadyarov said.

Mammadyarov also said that Armenia must realize that relying on the status quo and armed provocations is a grave miscalculation.

Its attempts to hypocritically mislead the international community on the root causes of the conflict by presenting themselves as a suffering side is doomed to fail, he added.

Azerbaijan expects from Armenia to halt its military build-up in the occupied territories, and engage in negotiations with Azerbaijan in good faith so as to find a political solution to the conflict, which is long overdue, said the minister.

He noted also that the conflict can be resolved only and only on the basis of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan within its internationally recognized borders.

The sooner Armenia reconciles with this reality and withdraws its armed forces from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, the earlier the conflict will be resolved, and Armenia and its population will benefit from the prospects of cooperation and economic development, he added.

Azerbaijan will spare no effort towards achieving the settlement of the conflict and ensuring peace, justice and development in the region, noted Mammadyarov.


The U.S. intends to strengthen the mechanism of dialogue with Azerbaijan on strategic partnership

AZERBAILANUSA FlagsThe U.S. intends to strengthen the mechanism of dialogue with Azerbaijan on strategic partnership, said Bridget Brink, the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs.

She made the remarks during a meeting with Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov in Baku on June 23.

Bridget Brink is on a visit to Azerbaijan and is holding meetings with the country’s officials to discuss the prospects for the bilateral cooperation.

During the meeting with Mammadyarov, Brink pointed out that her country attaches special importance to the development of cooperation with Azerbaijan, the country’s Foreign Ministry reported.

The U.S. supports the measures taken in Azerbaijan on economic diversification, development of the non-oil sector, as well as the regional transportation infrastructures, she added.

During the meeting, the parties discussed the US-Azerbaijani cooperation in the energy sphere, fighting terrorism, relations in regional security, as well as the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.


Azerbaijan`s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov has met a delegation led by NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative

elmarmamediyarovAzerbaijan`s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov has met a delegation led by NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia James Appathurai.

The sides exchanged views on the current state and prospects of relations between Azerbaijan and NATO.

NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia James Appathurai hailed relations and successful cooperation between Azerbaijan and NATO, and especially mentioned the continuous support of Azerbaijan to the operations in Afghanistan for the sake of international peace and security.

Pointing out the reliable and steady relations between Azerbaijan and NATO, Minister Elmar Mammadyarov stressed the development of cooperation within the frames of Individual Partnership Action Plan, Planning and Review Process and Operational Capabilities Concept. He mentioned that Azerbaijan will continue to contribute to the Resolute Support Mission of NATO in Afghanistan.

Mentioning that the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict constitutes major threat to the stability and security in the region, FM Mammadyarov emphasized that for the resolution of the conflict Armenia has to withdraw its armed forces from all occupied territories of Azerbaijan.

At the meeting the sides also discussed regional and international issues of mutual interest.

/By Azertac/

FM Mammadyarov: Anti-Azerbaijani activities of some circles in the U.S. contradict strategic nature of relations between our countries

elmarmamediyarov“Anti-Azerbaijani activities of some circles in the U.S. contradict strategic nature of relations between our countries,” said Azerbaijan`s Minister of Foreign Affairs Elmar Mammadyarov as he met a U.S. delegation led by Evelyn Farkas, deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia. He stressed that cooperation in the fields of energy, fight against terrorism and defence and security should complete the political relations.

Mammadyarov said Azerbaijan has closely supported the international community`s efforts in the fight against terrorism.

He said Azerbaijan assisted restoration of peace and stability in Afghanistan on bilateral and multilateral basis, adding “Azerbaijan`s peace keeping forces are successfully serving in Afghanistan”.

Touching upon the Azerbaijan-initiated Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway and TANAP and TAP projects, Mammadyarov said the projects will change the transportation and energy picture of the region.

Farkas said the relations between Azerbaijan and the U.S. were based on strategic partnership. She noted that the U.S.` strategic interests related to the fight against terrorism, energy security and peacekeeping operations coincide with Azerbaijan`s interests, and hailed the two countries` cooperation in these fields.

Farkas noted the United States applaud Azerbaijan`s contribution to operations in Afghanistan.