Azerbaijan invites allies Turkey and Pakistan to 'rebuild Nagorno-Karabakh'

Azerbaijan invites allies Turkey and Pakistan to 'rebuild Nagorno-Karabakh'
The three countries' top diplomats discussed reconstruction efforts and an initiative to combat global Islamophobia.
2 min read
14 January, 2021
More than 140 civilians were killed in last year's conflict [Getty]
Azerbaijan has invited companies from Turkey and Pakistan to help rebuild the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, parts of which were recaptured by Baku last year.

On Wednesday, Azerbaijan's Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov praised the support given to Baku by allies Ankara and Islamabad during last year's conflict.

"They raised their voices in the international arena to restore justice and we highly appreciate this principled position by Turkey and Pakistan," Bayramov said, according to Turkish state broadcaster TRT World.

After a tri-lateral meeting on Wednesday, Azerbaijan's top diplomat said companies from Turkey and Pakistan had been invited to take part in reconstruction efforts in areas reclaimed from Armenian forces.

A Russian-brokered peace agreement in November cemented Azeri control over parts of the mountainous Nagorno-Karabakh region and surrounding areas.

The Armenian-majority enclave had been under the control of separatist Armenian forces since the conflict initially erupted in the early 1990s but was widely recognised as part of Azerbaijan.

At least 146 civilians were killed in last year's flare-up, according to a report published by Amnesty International this week.

The human rights watchdog on Wednesday accused both parties of violating international law with the use of "inaccurate and indiscriminate weapons".

Despite the ceasefire deal last year, tensions still persist.

On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted a fresh round of discussions between Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev.

"We were able to agree and sign a joint declaration on developing the region," Putin was quoted as saying by Reuters.

However, the discussions did not produce a deal with regards to prisoners of war still held by both sides.

Also on Wednesday, Bayramov and his Turkish and Russian counterparts discussed the formation of a global initiative to combat Islamophobia and terrorism.

Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi expressed his country's backing of Turkey on the issue of Cyprus, while also thanking Ankara for its support in Kashmir.

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