Foreign minister stresses they are ready to normalize relations with Armenia based on international law principles
BAKU, Azerbaijan (AA) – Azerbaijan is ready to normalize its relations with Armenia on the basis of respect for the principles of international law, a top Azerbaijani official said on Thursday.
“Despite the difficulties, Azerbaijan is ready to normalize its relations with Armenia on the basis of the principles of international law, especially respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity, and the inviolability of borders,” Foreign Minister Ceyhun Bayramov said at a meeting of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in the Belarussian capital Minsk.
Speaking at the CIS Council of Foreign Ministers, Bayramov underlined that with the most recent conflict in the Karabakh region, Azerbaijan had ensured its territorial integrity by ending 30 years of Armenian occupation.
Meeting with Russia’s Lavrov
At Minsk, Bayramov met with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, according to a statement by Azerbaijan Foreign Ministry.
The two officials discussed bilateral relations and the activities that will take place to mark the 30th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Baku and Moscow.
Bayramov and Lavrov also discussed regional issues and the full implementation of the tripartite agreement between Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Russia last year on Nov. 10.
Liberation of Karabakh
Relations between the former Soviet republics of Azerbaijan and Armenia have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Upper Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.
When new clashes erupted on Sept. 27 last year, the Armenian army launched attacks on civilians and Azerbaijani forces and violated several humanitarian cease-fire agreements.
The two countries signed a Russian-brokered agreement on Nov. 10, 2020 to end the fighting and work toward a comprehensive resolution.
The cease-fire was seen as a victory for Azerbaijan and a defeat for Armenia, whose armed forces withdrew in line with the agreement.
Prior to this, about 20% of Azerbaijan’s territory had been under illegal occupation for nearly 30 years.
On Jan. 11 this year, the leaders of Russia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia signed a pact to develop economic ties and infrastructure to benefit the entire region. It included the establishment of a trilateral working group on Karabakh.