Armenia has lagged behind economic, political and social development in the South Caucasus becoming victim of its separatist intentions and ambitions, Azerbaijani Presidential Administration Social and Political Department Chief Ali Hasanov told journalists in Batumi on Sunday.
The South Caucasus is the region, where happiness and prosperity of one nation cannot be built on another’s unhappiness. The profound development of one nation and tough status of another is very hard for the South Caucasus,” Hasanov added.
Unity of the South Caucasus cannot be the question unless ethnic conflicts are resolved in the region, he underscored.
“The Armenians should abandon their separatist claims to ensure development of the South Caucasus. The forces causing other conflicts in the South Caucasus should abandon their claims, and the South Caucasus peoples should ensure their future,” Hasanov said.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and 7 surrounding districts.
Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group – Russia, France, and the U.S. – are currently holding the peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council’s four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.
He said Azerbaijan implements a number of projects to tackle social, economic and cultural problems of Azerbaijanis residing in Georgia.
“They are carried out at a state level, and by non-governmental organizations, as well as at various regional levels. The Azerbaijanis residing here should know the Georgian language to become an integral part of the Georgian community and to be represented in state agencies and electoral authorities. Institutions should be created to unite the Azerbaijanis residing here. We want the Azerbaijanis residing here to support the Georgian community in hard times, as well as benefit successes and achievements of Georgia. In addition to being noble citizens of their country, we want them to contribute to the development of this country,” he underlined.