He made the remarks Wednesday at an annual Ministerial Meeting of Foreign Ministers of Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) under the theme “Partnering for accelerated implementation of the Vienna Programme of Action and achieving sustainable development in LLDCs in the COVID-19 Era”, the Foreign Ministry told AzVision.az.
The minister pointed out that the World Health Organization (WHO) has therefore illustrated Azerbaijan as a model country in the fight against COVID-19.
“To bolster the COVID response efforts across the world, Azerbaijan allocated $ 10 million to WHO for countries from Africa, Asia and Latin America. Azerbaijan has put forward a number of important initiatives, including the convening of the special session of the UN General Assembly and the Summit of the Non-Alignment Movement Contact Group,” he reminded.
The minister said the vulnerability of LLDCs to cross-border restrictions and border closures necessitate a concerted action to enhance connectivity and sustainable functioning of international trade and transport corridors.
“Regional cooperation is crucial during a pandemic. For example, through collaboration and coordination, Azerbaijan, Turkey and Central Asian countries have ensured the smooth flow of critical supplies during the crisis. More regional cooperation will be needed when moving to the “new normal”. Regional integration mechanisms can play an important role through supporting regional trade agreements (RTAs). Application of innovative solutions for improving digital freight corridors, including blockchain technologies, is of particular importance,” Minister Bayramov added.
He noted that Azerbaijan has been an enabler of inter- and intra-regional transport connectivity projects.
“These projects are transforming our country into a trans-regional logistical hub. East-West Trans-Caspian International Transport Route, North-South, South-West and North-West trade routes are the key infrastructure projects designed to increase transit capacity across Eurasia. We have also launched a new cooperation format among three landlocked countries – Afghanistan, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, through which we promote, among others, the Lapis Lazuli transport route to unlock the potential of our brotherly country Afghanistan,” he said.
He pointed out that Azerbaijan has enhanced its role as a reliable energy supplier. Southern Gas Corridor is nearing its completion and it will be the most tangible delivery of strengthened interconnectivity.
Minister Bayramov also recalled Armenia’s military provocation on the border with Azerbaijan in July of this year.
He emphasized the importance of protecting of critical infrastructure.
“The recent provocation by the Armenian side in July 2020 on Azerbaijan-Armenia border is a clear reminder of this. Armenian armed forces threatened among others the critical energy and transportation infrastructure. This infrastructure is not only essential to Azerbaijan's economic vitality but is also of utmost importance for the smooth functioning of the trans-regional corridors connecting wider Eurasian region. This provocation highlighted once more the extreme fragility of status quo and the need for the soonest settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict on the basis of sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of internationally recognized borders of the Republic of Azerbaijan,” Minister Bayramov concluded.