Ilham Aliyev: Azerbaijan, Armenia agree on Zangezur corridor
Baku and Yerevan agreed on opening the Zangezur corridor, including the construction of railways and highways along the route, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said Monday, according to Azerbaijan in Focus, reporting Daily Sabah.
Ilham Aliyev spoke over the phone with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and updated him on a trilateral meeting between himself, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian and European Council President Charles Michel in Brussels on Sunday.
“The president of Azerbaijan touched on the preparation of a peace agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the presentation by Azerbaijan of five principles based on international law, the normalization of relations between the two countries, the opening of transport corridors and the delimitation of borders discussed during the meeting,” the statement added.
“Aliyev gave a positive assessment to the results of the trilateral meeting,” it added.
According to the statement, the Azerbaijani president also noted that an order had been issued earlier Monday “to establish a state commission on the delimitation of the state border between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Armenia.”
For his part, Erdoğan thanked Aliyev “for the information about the trilateral meeting and gave a positive assessment of the results achieved at the meeting.”
The two leaders also “stressed the importance of achieving peace in the region as soon as possible.”
Michel said the first meeting of the joint border commissions of Azerbaijan and Armenia will take place soon.
“Today I hosted President Aliyev of Azerbaijan and Prime Minister Pashinyan of Armenia again. This was our third discussion in this format. We focused on the situation in the South Caucasus and the development of EU relations with both countries as well as the broader region,” he said in a statement issued after their meeting Sunday.
Zangezur was part of Azerbaijan, but in the 1920s, the Soviets gave the region to Armenia. After this move, Azerbaijan lost its link with Nakhchivan and some parts of the railway between the two countries were destroyed.
Azerbaijan has focused on projects in the Zangezur corridor, which will include highways and rail lines stretching across territories in Armenia’s Syunik region.
Once those parts are repaired, Azerbaijan will be able to reach Iran, Armenia and Nakhchivan uninterruptedly by train.
The railway will also link Turkey with Russia through Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan and Russia will negotiate for the construction of a 43-kilometer (26.7-mile) railway in the region. Russia has railway properties in Armenia.
Relations between the two former Soviet countries have been tense since 1991 when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.
New clashes erupted in September 2020, and the 44-day conflict saw Azerbaijan liberate several cities and over 300 settlements and villages that were occupied by Armenia for almost 30 years.
A tripartite agreement was brokered by Russia to bring an end to the war in November 2020.
After the Nagorno-Karabakh region was liberated from three decades of occupation this past November following a 44-day war with Armenia, it entered a period of an economic revival thanks to new transportation links.
According to the deal, all transportation lines that were closed due to the Karabakh conflict will reopen. This brought the Zangezur corridor to the forefront.