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Monday 15 March 2021

Aliyev Ready to Open Communications with Armenia

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BAKU (TASS) – Baku is ready to open communications with Yerevan, which will be a starting point for putting an end to the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said on Sunday at a meeting with visiting OSCE Chairman-in-Office and Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde.

He was quoted as saying on the presidential website:

We already started the process of negotiations on the opening of communications between Armenia and Azerbaijan. That was part of the statement which was signed on November 10. Negotiations already had several rounds, different levels and I think that this particular issue can be a starting point for completely turning the page of war and leaving it to the history.

According to Mr. Aliyev, the opening of communications will be in the interest of the whole region, giving a new impetus to cooperation and paving the road to new opportunities. “And it can bring after many other areas of potential cooperation. I already publicly spoke that Azerbaijan is ready for that”, he stressed, adding that the four months that have elapsed after the war “already demonstrate the will of both sides to turn the page and to concentrate on the future.”

Linde, in turn, said that the OSCE “would see if there is anything we can do to contribute to resolving conflict in the OSCE area” and stressed that in this context international law, human rights, humanitarian law, peace and security are of top priority for the OSCE.

Renewed clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia erupted on September 27, with intense battles raging in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The area experienced flare-ups of violence in the summer of 2014, in April 2016 and this past July.

On November 9, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan signed a joint statement on a complete ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh starting from November 10. Under the document, the Azerbaijani and Armenian sides stopped at the positions that they had held and Russian peacekeepers were deployed along the engagement line in Nagorno-Karabakh and along the Lachinsky corridor that connects Armenia with the enclave to exercise control of the ceasefire observance. Apart from that, a number of districts came over to Baku’s control.

On January 11, 2021, the three leaders met in Moscow to sign a joint statement, which, among other things, provided for the establishment of a working group at the level of deputy prime ministers to unblock all economic and transport ties in the region.

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