By Rashid Shirinov
The world community should assist in resolving the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, said Carole Crofts, UK Ambassador to Baku.
Crofts made the remark as she met with Azerbaijan’s Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the State Committee for Refugees and IDPs, Ali Hasanov.
The ambassador expressed regret over the fact that Armenia keeps status quo and emphasized that the United Kingdom supports the peaceful settlement of the conflict.
Ali Hasanov, for his part, spoke about good relations between Azerbaijan and the UK, praising the UK’s support at international organizations for Azerbaijan’s fair position on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Hasanov also noted the inadmissibility of illegal visits and activities of UK citizens and companies in the occupied Azerbaijani territories.
He also touched upon the sales of the gold, unlawfully extracted from a mine in the occupied Azerbaijani territories and processed in Armenia, in many European countries, including on the London Stock Exchange. Hasanov emphasized the importance of preventing such unpleasant facts.
The deputy prime minister reminded that Armenia still ignores and doesn’t implement the decisions and resolutions adopted by international organizations on Armenia’s withdrawal from the occupied Azerbaijani territories and return of refugees and IDPs to their native lands.
“Armenia intensively violates the negotiation process. The Armenian authorities do not want to resolve the conflict; they continue to occupy our lands with the help of their patrons and continue to hold a destructive position,” said Hasanov, adding that international community does not exert any pressure on the aggressor country.
He added that over the past 20 years, Armenia has not achieved any success. “The country’s economic situation has seriously deteriorated and the aggressor country is isolated from international and regional projects implemented with participation of Azerbaijan,” said Hasanov.
Armenia broke out a lengthy war against Azerbaijan laying territorial claims on its South Caucasus neighbor. Since a war in the early 1990s, Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and over 1 million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities.
Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding districts.
Further during the meeting, Crofts said she will make every effort to expand the mutual cooperation in political, economic, cultural, energy security and other areas.
The ambassador added that work is carried out to implement a number of projects in various spheres between the two countries.
Crofts reminded that the UK has been successfully cooperating with Azerbaijan for more than 20 years, mentioning that BP is the company that invested the most in Azerbaijan.
The envoy said she got acquainted with various Azerbaijani regions and she was deeply impressed by the hospitality of the Azerbaijani people.
Crofts highlighted Azerbaijan's rapid development in recent years and elevation of its image on the international arena.