ArmInfo.Time has come to focus all efforts on lasting peace in the South Caucasus, Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan said, TurkicWorld reports.
He made the remark at the 27th meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Economic Cooperation Organization's (ECO) participating countries under Azerbaijan's chairmanship in Shusha city.
"We hail our Azerbaijani brothers for putting an end to a thirty-year occupation and eliminating historical injustice. Now is the time to focus all efforts on lasting peace, stability, and security in the South Caucasus, which constitutes the strategic core of the ECO geography," the minister noted.
Fidan emphasized the need to generate a certain momentum in light of the new dynamics in the South Caucasus and to transform the Zangezur Corridor for the benefit of all ECO members.
Proposed by the Azerbaijani side, the Zangezur corridor aims to establish a transportation link between Azerbaijan's mainland and its exclave, Nakhchivan, passing through Armenian territory. This corridor emerged as part of the above-mentioned trilateral statement signed by Azerbaijani, Armenian, and Russian leaders following the 2020 Karabakh war.
One point of the agreement outlined Armenia's commitment to ensuring the security of transport connections to Nakhchivan, facilitating the unrestricted movement of people, vehicles, and goods in both directions.
In his address to the meeting President Ilham Aliyev pointed out that Azerbaijan is also a reliable transit country, and Azerbaijan's transportation and logistics infrastructure is available to all the ECO nations.
"Given the increased demand for cargo shipping along the East-West route, we aim to increase the throughput capacity of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway from the current 1 million to 5 million tons. Furthermore, an agreement has been reached with the Islamic Republic of Iran to use this country's territory for the construction of a highway and a railway to ensure access to the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic. Simultaneously, Azerbaijan is working on expanding the throughput capacity of the North-South transportation corridor.
In turn, the Prime Minister of Armenia said during an interview on October 10 that the Republic of Armenia is ready to unblock regional communications.
"What does this mean? For example, are we ready to open roads for Turkey and Azerbaijan. Yes, we are ready, on the basis of sovereignty. We are told that the Tripartite Statement says that security should be provided by Russia, but we say that this is not true. This is a public document. Let us open the document and read it, there is no such clause," he suggested.
Point 9 of the trilateral statement reads:
"All economic and transport links in the region shall be unblocked. The Republic of Armenia shall guarantee the safety of transport communication between the western regions of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic with a view to organize the unimpeded movement of citizens, vehicles and cargo in both directions. Control over transport communication shall be exercised by the Border Guard Service bodies of the FSS of Russia."