Azerbaijani Deputy PM meets with delegation of Council of EU Working Party

Baku, November 29, AZERTAC

Azerbaijan`s Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the State Committee for Refugees and IDPs Ali Hasanov has met with a delegation of the Working Party on Eastern Europe and Central Asia of the Council of the European Union.

Ali Hasanov provided an insight into the history of Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh dispute. He said that Armenians started moving to ancient Azerbaijani lands 200 years ago. “This is evidenced by a monument called “Maraga-150”, which was erected by the Armenian population in 1978 to mark the 150th anniversary of their resettlement in the Azerbaijani territory, as well as by numerous archive documents.” “Ever since the Armenians started the ethnic cleansing as well as acts of genocide and deportation of Azerbaijanis from their lands.” He also pointed to Sumgayit events organized by the former USSR special services and Armenians. “Immediately after Sumgayit events, more than 250,000 Azerbaijanis were expelled and deported from Armenia,” he said.

Ali Hasanov noted that Armenia continues to ignore all decisions and resolutions of the UN Security Council, OSCE, PACE and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. The Deputy Premier also expressed his regret over fruitless activity of the OSCE Minsk Group which has mediated in the conflict for more than 20 years.

He also highlighted the Azerbaijani government`s efforts to better living conditions of refugees and IDPs. A total of $7 billion has been spent to build 95 settlements for hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijani refugees and IDPs over the last 20 years, he said.

Ali Hasanov hailed the granting of an appropriate mandate to the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini to begin negotiations on Strategic Partnership Agreement with Azerbaijan.

Head of the EU delegation in Azerbaijan Malena Mard emphasized the importance of the visit of such a large delegation to Azerbaijan, saying it will contribute to the development of relations between Azerbaijan and the EU. She described the mandate given to Federica Mogherini as another successful step in developing bilateral relations.

Head of the Working Party Caroline Vinot said Azerbaijan is an important partner for the European Union not only in terms of energy, but also in terms of secularism. She said the EU is interested in elevating relations to a higher level. Caroline Vinot said the EU values the importance of the Eastern Partnership initiative. She said the EU supports the territorial integrity of Eastern Partnership member countries.

After the meeting, the delegation of the Working Party on Eastern Europe and Central Asia of the Council of the European Union visited a settlement for refugees and IDPs in Masazir, Absheron district.

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