U.S. along with co-chairs should step up efforts to resolve Karabakh conflict, says Azerbaijani FM

Baku: Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov on Monday received Bridget Brink, the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs.

Mammadyarov during the meeting spoke about Azerbaijan’s successful cooperation with the U.S. since gaining independence in the counter-terrorism, regional security, and other areas, stressing the necessity to evaluate current opportunities for the further deepening of bilateral ties, the foreign ministry told APA.

The minister said Azerbaijan is interested in developing its cooperation with the U.S., noting that discussion of all bilateral issues in the conditions of dialogue and mutual trust is going to be efficient.

Mammadyarov added that the experience of a number of large-scale projects being implemented between the two countries will contribute to successfully carrying out other energy projects on the current agenda.

With regard to the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, the minister said the U.S. together with other OSCE Minsk Group co-chair countries should step up efforts toward the settlement of the conflict.

Mrs. Brink said the US attaches special importance to the relations with Azerbaijan and is ready to further develop the cooperation. Talking about the meetings she held as part of her visit, the US official said various aspects of bilateral relations were discussed during the meetings.

Mrs. Brink was also received by Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister Khalaf Khalafov on Monday.

Khalafov said such meetings strengthen bilateral relations, noting that relations between the two countries have so far developed at the highest level and have further strengthened after Heydar Aliyev’s visit to the U.S. in 1997. The deputy minister mentioned that Azerbaijan is a reliable partner of the U.S., saying there are great opportunities for joint cooperation in the political, security, economic, investment, cultural, educational and humanitarian fields and in the implementation of energy projects.

Khalafov touched on trade cooperation and underlined that the U.S. companies attending the recent Azerbaijani-US business meeting are interested in investing in the non-oil sector, too. He said that this business meeting will contribute to the increase of investments and the trade turnover.

Bridget Brink said the U.S, highly assesses Azerbaijan’s contributions to the peacekeepers in Afghanistan and its fight against terrorism.

The sides exchanged views on regional and international issues of mutual interest.

SOURCE: AZERI-PRESS NEWS AGENCY

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