The opening of communications will bring benefits to all countries in the region and will strengthen the role of the South Caucasus in international transport projects, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov said Thursday at a meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the CIS countries in Minsk.

Bayramov said that Azerbaijan attaches great importance to cooperation within the CIS, as well as further expansion and deepening of bilateral relations with all member countries of the organization.

He noted that the humanitarian sphere is one of the main areas of activity within the CIS, and the continuation of this cooperation will contribute to the further development of relations between the member countries and their peoples.

The minister also stressed the importance of cooperation between the CIS countries in the field of migration, including on a bilateral basis.

Besides, he reminded that as a result of the 44-day second Karabakh war, Azerbaijan put end to the occupation of a part of its territories, which lasted for about 30 years, and thus ensured its territorial integrity.

Bayramov spoke about the issues arising from the trilateral statements of November 10, 2020 and January 11, 2021 [for opening all transport communications in the region], as well as the mine threat [in the liberated Azerbaijani territories] and its serious consequences.

He emphasized that the Azerbaijani side attaches great importance to peacekeeping efforts in the region, including the activities of the Joint Turkish-Russian Monitoring Center. 

The minister also informed the meeting participants about the destruction of the historical, religious and cultural heritage, the urbicide and the culturecide in the previously occupied Azerbaijani territories.

He stressed that currently, the main goal is to restore the liberated territories and ensure the return of former internally displaced persons to their native lands.

In this regard, the minister informed the meeting participants about the ongoing restoration work in the liberated territories.

Summing up the meeting, the ministers approved the “Decision on draft Action Plan for the Year of Folk Art and Cultural Heritage in the CIS in 2022” and “Decision on the draft Statement of Heads of CIS States on Development of Cooperation in the Field of Migration”.