Without resolution of protracted conflicts as well as ensuring security and stability in the region, Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) will fail to fully reap the benefits of comprehensive regional cooperation, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov said at the 21st Meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Economic Cooperation Organization in Tehran today.
“But, unfortunately, we sometimes don’t pay the adequate attention that these issues require,” Mammadyarov said.
“Within ECO the South Caucasus is yet another region suffering from protracted conflicts,” Mammadyarov said.
“Armenian-Azerbaijan conflict still remains a major source of instability and impediment to the economic development and full-scale regional cooperation,” he said. “With restoration of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of the internationally recognized borders of the Republic of Azerbaijan I believe there will be win-win developments to every player in the region.”
“ECO is as strong organization,” Mammadyarov said. “We should consolidate our efforts to ensure regional cooperation and strengthen member-states’ position in their regions.”
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 per cent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the U.S. are currently holding peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council’s four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.