On March 21, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken made a phone call to President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, APA reports.
During the telephone conversation, the situation around Azerbaijan’s Lachin-Khankendi road was discussed. The President of Azerbaijan noted that the passage of more than 4,700 vehicles, persons in need of medical assistance and those accompanying them had been provided since December 12, 2022 through the efforts of Russian peacekeepers and the International Committee of the Red Cross. Therefore, reports about an alleged blockade of the road has false propaganda on the part of Armenia.
The President of Azerbaijan emphasized that it was a matter of serious concern that Armenia was using an auxiliary road to the Lachin road to carry out illegal military transports, rotation of personnel in Azerbaijani territories where Russian peacekeepers are temporarily stationed, as well as the fact that about 10,000 servicemen of the Armenian armed forces were still stationed in the territory of Azerbaijan. In this regard, the head of state stressed the necessity of establishing a border checkpoint at the end of Azerbaijan's Lachin road on the border with Armenia.
President Ilham Aliyev said the Armenian side had been recently abusing the presence of the European Union's mission in this country to pursue a policy aimed at deliberately escalating the situation, pointing to repeated violations of the ceasefire by Armenian armed forces along the Azerbaijan-Armenia state border and the illegal Armenian units in Azerbaijani territories where Russian peacekeepers are temporarily stationed.
President Ilham Aliyev noted that two Azerbaijani servicemen had been killed as a result of a provocation by illegal Armenian units on March 5, 2023, while a serviceman of the Azerbaijan State Border Service had been wounded in the aftermath of another Armenian provocation in the section of the Azerbaijan-Armenia state border passing through the territory of the Zangilan district on the day of Novruz holiday, March 20.
President Ilham Aliyev stressed that Azerbaijan was fully committed to the peace agenda, was ready for the normalization of relations with Armenia and the signing of a peace agreement soon, adding that the text of the peace agreement reflecting the latest proposals and amendments had been shared with the Armenian side.
The head of state said that he highly appreciated the efforts of the United States and personally of Secretary of State Antony Blinken in this direction.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken once again stressed that the US would continue its efforts towards normalization of relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia and the signing of a peace treaty.
As a continuation of the meeting held in Munich, the head of state reminded that Azerbaijan was ready for contacts with the Armenian residents of Karabakh, noting that the Administration of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan invited them to Baku to continue contacts on reintegration and discuss infrastructure projects.