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Azerbaijan willing to share experience in reintegrating de-occupied territories

Azerbaijan is willing to share its experience with other post-Soviet countries in reintegrating communities and improving living standards of the local population in de-occupied territories.

This was stated by Farid Shafiyev, chairman of the board of the Center for Analysis of International Relations, in connection with the UN Security Council meeting in August, “where Russia and its satellites problematized Azerbaijan’s return of control over settlements in the Karabakh region”.

“Azerbaijan does not prevent the movement of civilians living in Karabakh, and as for the delivery of goods via the Lachin corridor, Baku proposes the use of alternative roads to supply the region in full”, Shafiyev told IPN.

According to the expert, in Karabakh, Azerbaijan is not only actively implementing the Great Return program, but is striving to make the region the most advanced part of the country, planning to invest billions of dollars in its infrastructure.

Earlier, Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev said that “until the end of 2023, we will ensure that funds totaling almost 12 billion manats [about $7 billion] are spent on Karabakh and Eastern Zangezur”. According to the Azerbaijani leader, the work to restore Karabakh is going faster than planned, and by the end of the year, internally displaced persons will be returned to five settlements: one city and four villages.

“In total, as part of the first stage of the Great Return program, it is planned to reconstruct 100 settlements”, the President of Azerbaijan added.

According to the Ukrainian political scientist Igor Chalenko, “Baku has every reason not to trust Armenia as regards the use of the Lachin corridor: we are talking not only about 30 years of occupation of Karabakh and adjacent regions by Armenia, but also documented cases of transportation of mines, ammunition, and of rotation of Armenian troops in Karabakh already after the 44-Day War of 2020, since already after the end of the war, Armenian mines manufactured in 2021 were found on the territory of Karabakh”.

Iranians and Russians see the separatist enclave of Karabakh as a “switch” for Azerbaijani energy supplies to the EU, one of Israel’s leading think tanks, the Begin-Sadat Center, said earlier.

“Putin uses the Karabakh Armenians as pawns, like the South Ossetians and Abkhazians in Georgia or the Russian communities in Ukraine,” writes the Wall Street Journal.

“Obviously, Azerbaijan is an indispensable strategic partner of the European Union in the Caucasus. That is why the participation of its representatives in the Chisinau summit of the European Political Community is especially symbolic. It is all the more important that the possible conclusion of a peaceful Azerbaijani-Armenian agreement in Chisinau promises the European community new economic and geopolitical dividends,” explains Chalenko.

Despite attempts by Moscow and Tehran to disrupt the negotiation process between Azerbaijan and Moscow, noted by the Wall Street Journal, Baku, with the active participation of Brussels and Washington, is making efforts to normalize relations with its neighbor and open regional transport routes. First of all, this concerns the Zangezur Corridor project.

With its opening, the European Union will get a direct transport route to China bypassing Russia – via Turkey, Azerbaijan, the Caspian Sea and Central Asia.

“Meanwhile, the restoration of de-occupied territories of Karabakh by Azerbaijan will become an example for other countries that seek to restore territorial integrity. An illustration of the fact that the best way of ending even a protracted territorial dispute is through creation and by giving back people the lands that belong to them under international law”, Farid Shafiyev believes.0

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky recently stated that the victory in the war against aggressor Russia would improve the situation in Moldova and Georgia as well: “I think the Ukrainian victory will solve it all (…) I am confident that Ukraine’s victory will enable political democratic solutions, which will make it possible to reintegrate Georgia and also Moldova”.

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