"The future of the South Caucasus should be viewed in the context of settlement of the long-lasting Azerbaijani-Armenian conflict," Deputy Prime Minister of Azerbaijan Shahin Mustafayevsaid at a panel discussion on "Eurasian regional cooperation in the post-Covid period" held within the XXIV St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, APA's Moscow bureau reports.
"As a result of the settlement of the conflict, the previously occupied territories of Azerbaijan have been liberated. The post-war period creates new opportunities for cooperation, mutual trade, the opening of communications and the creation of new transport corridors in the region. Azerbaijan looks to the future and plans its future as part of a single integrated region of the South Caucasus," Mr. Mustafayev stressed.
The Deputy Prime Minister of Azerbaijan said that the implementation of transport projects in the South Caucasus is one of the most important issues: "I would like to recall the statements of the leaders of Azerbaijan, Russia and Armenia on November 10, 2020 and January 11, 2021. According to these statements, all economic and transport links in the region should be opened. We believe that this is in the interests of all the countries of the South Caucasus, as well as our close neighbors and partners - Russia, Turkey and Iran. We believe that the opening of transport and economic ties in the South Caucasus will benefit all countries, especially Central Asia. Azerbaijan is committed to the full implementation of the known statements, as well as to ensuring lasting peace and security in the region, the normalization of the post-conflict situation and the settlement of all disputes through diplomatic means. There is no alternative to cooperation and peace for the long-term development of the region."
Mr. Mustafayev also said that Azerbaijan has already started reconstruction work in the liberated territories: “We are implementing infrastructure projects in those areas, building a highway, three airports are planned to be built, two of them are already under construction, and one is planned to be built. The Azerbaijani government has allocated all necessary resources, including funding, for this work. I want to reiterate that Azerbaijan views the trilateral statements as a guarantee of long-term peace and security in the region."