2 Nov 2017 16:28

Baku ready to develop economic cooperation with Yerevan when Armenian troops leave Karabakh - Azerbaijani FM

BAKU. Nov 2 (Interfax) - Armenia will be able to use the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railroad only when the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is settled and when Armenia withdraws its troops from Azerbaijan's territory, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov said.

"If Armenia wants to use the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railroad, including in order to ship cargo, then first it will be necessary to settle the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and, first and foremost, withdraw troops from seized territories and eliminate the fact of the occupation of Azerbaijan's lands," Mammadyarov said at a joint press conference with Foreign Minister of Montenegro Srdjan Darmanovic.

Mammadyrov emphasized that settling the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict would help foster economic cooperation with Armenia.

"Azerbaijan has not occupied anyone and has not pursued a policy of aggression toward anyone. If the conflict is resolved, it will be possible to develop good, neighborly relations and economic cooperation with Armenia," he said.

A ceremony marking the opening of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railroad was held in Baku on October 30.

Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey signed an intergovernmental agreement on building a Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railroad in February 2007. The project includes the construction of a 98-kilometer Kars-Akhalkalaki railroad, of which 68 kilometers will be located in Turkey and 30 in Georgia. The project also envisages the renovation of the 183-kilometer Akhalkalaki-Tbilisi railway in Georgia. The construction of the Georgian segment of the railroad is being funded by Azerbaijan, which has provided Georgia with two privileged loans worth a total of $775 million.