On September 19, 2023, Minister of Foreign Affairs Jeyhun Bayramov met Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Antonio Tajani as part of his business trip to New York to participate in the opening of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry told APA.
The ministers expressed satisfaction with the development of relations between Azerbaijan and Italy in all areas, particularly in economic, energy, and humanitarian fields. In this context, the importance of high-level visits between the two countries was emphasized.
Minister Jeyhun Bayramov informed his Italian counterpart about the successive steps taken by Azerbaijan towards the normalization of bilateral relations with Armenia during the post-conflict period, as well as the restoration and reconstruction efforts in the liberated territories. It was noted with satisfaction that Italian companies are closely involved in the restoration and rebuilding efforts in the liberated areas.
Minister Jeyhun Bayramov briefed his Italian counterpart on the current situation in the region and provided information about the local anti-terrorism operation initiated by Azerbaijan. He emphasized the factors that condition this operation.
Minister J. Bayramov emphasized that Armenia's failure to fully withdraw its armed forces from Azerbaijani territory, by blatantly violating international law and Article 4 of the Trilateral Statement dated November 10, 2020, and its continued support and promotion of separatism against Azerbaijan's territorial integrity and sovereignty through all possible political, military, financial, and ideological means, remains the main cause of tension in the region.
It is noted that in recent days, there has been an intensification of military provocations, particularly by the illegal regime created by Armenia in Azerbaijan's sovereign territories. There has been a notable escalation in military construction activities and a continuous strengthening of combat positions. All of these developments indicate preparations by the illegally stationed Armenian armed formations for another large-scale military provocation on Azerbaijani territory.
Finally, on September 19, as a result of the detonation of mines planted by illegal Armenian military formations' reconnaissance-sabotage groups, it was emphasized that six individuals lost their lives, including employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs who were serving in the area, as well as civilians mobilized for restoration work. Additionally, six individuals sustained serious injuries.
It is emphasized that the local anti-terrorism operation conducted by the armed forces is specifically aimed at legitimate military targets, with the objective of neutralizing Armenia's illegal military infrastructure.
Minister J. Bayramov emphasized that all measures have been taken during the operation to ensure the safety of civilians and civilian infrastructure. As Azerbaijan has reiterated multiple times, the rights and freedoms of Armenian residents of the Karabakh Economic Region, as well as their security, will be guaranteed in accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan and supported by international human rights mechanisms.
Minister J. Bayramov emphasized that for the stabilization of the situation in the region, it is imperative that Armenian armed forces completely withdraw from Azerbaijani territories, illegal Armenian armed formations disarm, and all elements of the illegal regime be relinquished without delay.
During the meeting, there was an exchange of views on other international and regional issues of mutual interest.