Azerbaijan, UK discuss bilateral relations, regional situation
Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov on Wednesday met with UK Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office Leo Docherty, the Foreign Ministry’s press service told News.Az.
The meeting discussed the current state of UK-Azerbaijan bilateral relations, the outlook for cooperation in a variety of fields and the current regional situation.
The pair also shared their views on cooperation on oil, gas, investments, trade, transport, green energy, education etc.
Minister Bayramov touched upon vibrant relations between the countries in political, economic, and humanitarian areas, and stressed the importance of continuing official contacts and high-level reciprocal visits. The Minister highlighted the significance of relations in the energy sector between the two nations. He told of the Azerbaijan-initiated large-scale energy projects in the region and underlined their importance for ensuring Europe’s energy security. Bayramov lauded the successful operation of British companies in Azerbaijan, in particular, their involvement in the reconstruction projects in the liberated lands and the UK’s contribution to demining operations. The Foreign Minister highlighted the importance of successful education cooperation between the two countries.
The meeting addressed the Armenia-Azerbaijan normalization process, the current state of peace treaty talks, and various aspects of the protest on the Lachin road.
The Minister updated Docherty on the steps Azerbaijan had undertaken to normalize Armenia-Azerbaijan relations, saying the protest on the Lachin road was sparked by the misuse of the Lachin road and illegal economic activity in that area, adding allegations on the blockade and humanitarian situation are ‘groundless’. According to him, the opposing side was informed about Azerbaijan's legitimate demands and security interests as well as Azerbaijan’s initiative and efforts towards the peace treaty.
Notwithstanding Armenia’s refusal to participate in the December talks and this country’s hampering the process, Azerbaijan, according to Bayramov, remains committed to the process and continues the exchange of comments to draft the peace treaty. He urged Armenia to step back from its destructive position and return to the negotiating table.
Docherty said the UK is keen on developing bilateral cooperation with Azerbaijan and underlined the dynamic development of UK-Azerbaijan relations. He stressed the need to remove barriers to the peace in the region and reaffirmed UK’s readiness to support this process.