Members of European Parliament informed about Zangazur corridor

As part of his working visit to Brussels, Azerbaijan`s Minister of Digital Development and Transport Rashad Nabiyev took part in the roundtable “New views and opportunities for sustainable transport communication between Europe and Asia” organized in the European Parliament.

The event was attended by members of the European Parliament, representatives of the European Commission, European External Action Service, representatives of think tanks and Secretary General of the World Customs Organization Kunio Mikuriya.

Speaking at the roundtable, Rashad Nabiyev informed members of the European Parliament on transport projects implemented in Azerbaijan and international transport corridors, of which the country is a member.

It was reported that Azerbaijan has invested billions of dollars in its transport infrastructure over the past two decades: “Azerbaijan has built roads and railroads, launched new international airports, and strengthened the civilian maritime and air cargo fleets. It has also developed the Baku International Seaport and created the Alat Free Economic Zone.”

It was brought to the attention that these projects are designed to support broader regional cooperation, meeting the domestic needs of Azerbaijan and turning Azerbaijan into an international transport and logistics center. “The current geopolitical situation has further increased the strategic importance of our country in international transportation. Over a short period of time, there has been a sharp increase in the volume of transit cargoes passing through the territory of our country,” the minister said.

Rashad Nabiyev noted that Azerbaijan is an active supporter of the Middle Corridor. “In October 2017, the Baku–Tbilisi–Kars railway line, which is one of the main arteries of the Middle Corridor and connects the Trans-European and Trans-Asian railway networks, was commissioned.”

He added that after restoring its territorial integrity, Azerbaijan initiated the opening of the Zangazur corridor. “Due to its landscape advantages, this corridor could become the shortest and safest transit route between China and Central Asian countries to Europe.”

“Today our country continues to invest in transport infrastructure, especially the roads and railroads in Karabakh, and by connecting the northern and eastern railroad networks with the southern and western networks, restores the historic connectivity of the region,” said Rashad Nabiyev.

Secretary General of the World Customs Organization Kunio Mikuriya delivered a speech and praised Azerbaijan’s efforts to develop the Middle Corridor. The secretary general stressed the need to digitalize and harmonize border procedures along the Middle Corridor.

Then Stuart Westgate, partner at Boston Consulting Group (BCG), gave a broad presentation on the opportunities of the Middle Corridor.

The roundtable concluded with an exchange of views on the importance of the Middle Corridor.



Source: AZERTAC, Azerbaijan State News Agency

Defense Ministry: We call on command of Russian peacekeeping contingent to indicate names of settlements in territory of Azerbaijan with correct toponyms

“We regretfully reiterate that in the official information of the Russian Federation’s peacekeeping contingent, the names of Azerbaijani territories are still mentioned with fictitious Armenian toponyms,” Azerbaijan`s Ministry of Defense told AZERTAC.

The ministry said: “The disdainful attitude towards the repeated appeals to stop using inaccurate expressions is not entirely clear.

The Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Azerbaijan persistently declares once again that the incorrect mention of the names of Azerbaijani settlements, as well as the usage of the “Nagorno-Karabakh territory” expression, is INADMISSIBLE.

We remind once again that in the official information of the peacekeeping contingent of the Russian Federation dated 02.12.2022, published on the official website of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, the territory referred to as “Nagorno-Karabakh territory” is the Karabakh economic region, and the official names of Azerbaijani settlements named as “Mardakert” and “Martuni” are AGHDARA and KHOJAVAND, respectively.

We call on the command of the Russian peacekeeping contingent temporarily deployed in the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan to indicate in their relevant information the names of settlements in the territory of Azerbaijan with the correct toponyms.”



Source: AZERTAC, Azerbaijan State News Agency

Azerbaijan permanent representative to UN sends letter to Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

Permanent Representative of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the United Nations Yashar Aliyev has sent a letter regarding the continuation of the aggressive policy of Armenia against Azerbaijan and Armenia’s flagrant violation of international policy, as well as the interim report on the ongoing deployment by Armenia of landmines on the territory of Azerbaijan to Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres.

In a letter addressed to the head of the UN, the Azerbaijani diplomat wrote: “By continuing to place mines and refusing to share accurate and comprehensive information about all the minefields in the formerly occupied territories of Azerbaijan, Armenia deliberately targets human lives and attempts to impede post – conflict rehabilitation, reconstruction and humanitarian efforts and the safe return of the internally displaced persons to their homes. As a result, over the past two years of the post-conflict period, more than 260 Azerbaijani civilians and military personnel were killed or injured by mine explosions.

These actions of Armenia constitute a flagrant violation of international law and entail its responsibility. Armenia must cease and desist from mine terrorism, redress the harm caused by its internationally wrongful acts, provide full reparations for the injured and offer appropriate assurances and guarantees of non-repetition.

In order to save lives and ensure peace and development in the region, it is also fundamentally important to increase international support for further strengthening and enhancing national mine action efforts in Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan is one of the countries in the world most contaminated with landmines/explosive remnants of war. Throughout the conflict, Armenia has indiscriminately planted hundreds of thousands of mines and other explosive devices in the formerly occupied territories of Azerbaijan.

The present report sheds light on Armenia’s ongoing deployment of landmines in the territory of Azerbaijan. Thus, anti-personnel landmines recently found during demining operations in the Kalbajar and Lachin districts of Azerbaijan were produced in Armenia in 2021 and, consequently, were planted after the signing of the trilateral statement on 10 November 2020 that announced an end to all military activities between Armenia and Azerbaijan and obliged Armenia to withdraw its troops from the territory of Azerbaijan.

The ongoing placement of landmines attests to the continuation of the aggressive policy of Armenia.

These actions of Armenia further aggravate the humanitarian threat that landmines pose to civilians, as they are directed at impeding the realization of large – scale rehabilitation and reconstruction works in the liberated territories of Azerbaijan and preventing the hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons from returning to their homes in safety and dignity after almost 30 years of occupation and ethnic cleansing.

This, along with Armenia’s refusal to cooperate in locating the landmines it planted during the unlawful occupation of the territories of Azerbaijan, constitutes a war crime, as the targets of this policy and conduct are civilians, and entails liability under international law.

The increasing number of mine victims creates a humanitarian urgency that requires the utmost attention and immediate action.

While the Government of Azerbaijan is engaged in large-scale humanitarian demining operations, new facts confirm that Armenia continues to deploy landmines on the territory of Azerbaijan.

During humanitarian demining operations, vast minefields planted with PMN-E anti-personnel mines, produced in Armenia in 2021, that is, after the signing of the trilateral statement, were found in the eastern parts of the Kalbajar and Lachin districts of Azerbaijan in August 2022.

According to the ongoing non-technical and technical surveys in the territories, there are minefields with an estimated 40,000 landmines planted throughout a 93 -km area covering the Gamishdaghi and Saribaba mountains.

In addition, recently planted PMN-E anti-personnel landmines produced in Armenia were found also in the Dashkasan district of Azerbaijan.

The total number of PMN-E type landmines found in Dashkasan, Kalbajar and Lachin between 16 August and 6 October 2022 amounts to 3,166, of which 1,671 were found in Lachin, 935 in Kalbajar and 560 in Dashkasan. While the majority of these landmines are of PMN-E type, among the detected and neutralized landmines were also those of PMN-2, E-001 M and TM-62 types.

Apart from this, on 3 October 2022, trap mines installed by Armenian forces and consisting of PMN-E landmines with hand grenades under them activated by trap wire were found in houses and courtyards in the Zabukh and Sus villages of the Lachin district of Azerbaijan.

It should be noted that, in accordance with paragraph 6 of the trilateral statement, the town of Lachin and the villages of Zabukh and Sus were returned to Azerbaijan on 26 August 2022. No active military operations were conducted in these areas. However, Armenia installed trap mines there during the withdrawal of its forces and illegal settlers with the sole purpose of targeting the returning Azerbaijani civilians.

The producer of the majority of landmines and explosive ordnance found in the territories of Azerbaijan is the Armenian company Hayk-Meg LLC, established in 1991. The company, which plays an important role in the military-industrial sphere of Armenia, is based in the capital city of Iravan. PMN-E, PMN-2, POMZ-2, OZM-72, MON-50 and PFM-1 anti-personnel mines manufactured by the company were displayed at the ArmHiTec -2016 defence industry exhibition, held in Armenia in 2016.

Indiscriminate use of mines by Armenia continues to cause loss of life and suffering among civilians. The humanitarian threat caused by mines creates a humanitarian urgency and requires utmost attention and immediate action.

The number of mine victims in the last 30 years stands at 3,336 (including 357 children and 38 women). A total of 131 incidents involved cluster munitions. Since the signing of the trilateral statement, 257 military servicemen and civilians (as at 3 October 2022) have become mine victims (44 killed and 213 wounded, including 9 children, 1 woman and 3 media representatives). The situation is aggravated by mines indiscriminately planted beyond the areas covered by the minefield records provided by Armenia.

New cases of trap mines left by Armenian forces in residential areas (houses) in the Lachin district in August 2022 leave no doubt that the aim was to inflict as many civilian casualties as possible.

Under international pressure, Armenia released some pre-2020 minefield records that contain information about 390,709 anti-tank and anti-personnel landmines as well as other explosive devices. These records constitute 5 per cent of all the liberated areas and less than a third of confirmed high threat areas reflected in the mine action assessment report on Azerbaijan (December 2020) prepared by the Mine Action Service and the United Nations Development Programme. However, only some 25 per cent of the minefield records provided by Armenia have proved to be reliable. It follows that only around 1.25 per cent of the liberated territory has minefield records with reliable data.

The Prime Minister of Armenia publicly boasted that the information (at the time of the statement, Armenia had released about 200,000 landmines) shared with Azerbaijan was only a “tiny portion” of landmines planted by Armenia. Despite that, Armenia demonstrates no interest in releasing the information about all the minefields and in cooperating to locate landmines that it planted without proper documentation. Efforts by a European Union-appointed landmine expert to facilitate the further release by Armenia of landmine information have not yielded any meaningful result.

Ongoing landmine deployment by Armenia on the territory of Azerbaijan is contrary to Armenia’s international obligations, including those stipulated under the trilateral statement. Armenia did not completely withdraw its armed forces from the territory of Azerbaijan and did not cease military activities against Azerbaijan. Instead, it continues to build fortifications and carry out military engineering works on the territory of Azerbaijan, including the large-scale deployment of landmines.

These activities constitute a flagrant breach of international law, in particular the violation of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and international humanitarian law, for which Armenia bears responsibility.

Such acts of Armenia neither serve stability nor advance peace and cooperation in the region.”



Source: AZERTAC, Azerbaijan State News Agency

Chief of General Staff of Azerbaijan Army visits Will Rogers Oklahoma Air National Guard Base

A visit of the delegation led by First Deputy Minister of Defense – Chief of the General Staff of the Azerbaijan Army, Colonel General Karim Valiyev to the United States of America continues, Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry told AZERTAC.

“As part of the visit, the delegation led by Colonel General Valiyev visited the Will Rogers Oklahoma Air National Guard Base.

While viewing the air base, the Azerbaijani delegation was given a briefing on the establishment history and main activities of the base, as well as a number of military means for the guard and aviation were demonstrated,” the ministry noted.



Source: AZERTAC, Azerbaijan State News Agency

Azerbaijan`s Defense Ministry: Meetings with servicemen held in liberated territories

The Ministry of Defense jointly with the State Committee for Work with Religious Associations holds events to propagate national-spiritual values in the Azerbaijan Army and instill patriotism in military personnel, the Ministry of Defense told AZERTAC.

In accordance with the joint action plan approved for 2022 servicemen of the Department for Ideological Work and Moral-Psychological Support of the Main Department for Personnel and a group of representatives of the committee held meetings with servicemen in the territories liberated from occupation.

During the meetings, discussions were held on the topics “Preservation of national-spiritual values based on the idea of Azerbaijanism of the Great Leader Heydar Aliyev”, “The role of Islamic religion in the upbringing of youth”, and “Freedom of conscience and the state-religion relations in the legislation of Azerbaijan”, as well as questions of servicemen were answered.

The role of national-spiritual values in the military-patriotic upbringing of youth and their protection from harmful habits, as well as the significance of enlightenment activities, held in this sphere, were brought to the attention of the military personnel.



Source: AZERTAC, Azerbaijan State News Agency

Defense Ministry: Azerbaijan Army positions subjected to fire

“On December 3, at about 16:30, members of an illegal Armenian armed detachment in the territory of Azerbaijan, where the Russian peacekeepers are temporarily deployed, using small arms subjected to fire the Azerbaijan Army positions stationed in the direction of Khojavand district,” Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry told AZERTAC.

“The Azerbaijan Army units stationed in this direction took adequate retaliatory measures,” the ministry said.



Source: AZERTAC, Azerbaijan State News Agency