The US can contribute to the peace process between Azerbaijan and Armenia by taking the South Caucasus region’s “new realities” into consideration, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev told a senior official from Washington on Wednesday.
During a meeting in the capital Baku, Aliyev told James O’Brien, US special envoy for European and Eurasian Affairs, that “historic opportunities had arisen for the establishment of peace” after the end of the second Karabakh war of fall 2020, according to a statement by his office.
“Emphasizing that Azerbaijan supported the regional peace agenda, President Ilham Aliyev said that after the end of the conflict and full restoration of Azerbaijan’s sovereignty, historic opportunities had arisen for the establishment of peace, noting that the United States could contribute to the process by considering the new realities,” said the statement.
Aliyev noted during the meeting that Armenia did not fulfill its obligations after the end of the 44-day war, while also sending weapons and military personnel to the territories of Azerbaijan.
The statement also quoted Aliyev as saying that Azerbaijan “carried out anti-terror measures in its sovereign territories, put an end to aggressive separatism, and demonstrated exemplary compliance with the requirements of humanitarian law during the operation.”
“The President pointed out that no harm had been done to civilians and infrastructure,” the statement further quoted Aliyev as saying.
It said Aliyev and O’Brien discussed various aspects of bilateral relations and exchanged ideas on regional issues, during which the Azerbaijani president conveyed prospects for developing bilateral cooperation in the fields of energy, transport, and logistics.
O’Brien, for his part, emphasized Washington’s role in bringing Azerbaijan’s energy resources to world markets and said his country supports the peace agenda in the region, including the normalization of Baku-Yerevan ties and negotiations on a peace treaty, the statement said.
The statement also quoted O’Brien as saying that the US supports the development of the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route, as well as the continuation of discussions on opening communication lines between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
The Trans-Caspian International Transport Route, also called the Middle or East-West Corridor, is a network of railways and roads that start in Türkiye and covers Georgia, Azerbaijan, the Caspian Sea, and Central Asia, and reaches China, making it an important effort to revive the ancient Silk Road.
“During the meeting, the sides described the resumption of reciprocal visits as a positive step for advancing bilateral relations. The sides also exchanged views on regional issues of mutual interest,” it concluded.
Azerbaijan liberated most of the Karabakh region from Armenian occupation during 44 days of clashes in the fall of 2020, which ended with a Russian-brokered peace agreement, opening the door to normalization.
The Azerbaijani army initiated an anti-terrorism operation in Karabakh this September to establish constitutional order, after which illegal separatist forces in the region surrendered.
Source : AA