Belgium funds Azerbaijan mine clearance efforts, enhances diplomatic relations

Sarhan Basem
credit: turan

Belgium contributed $250,000 to aid mine clearance in Azerbaijan, supporting efforts crucial for IDPs’ return to liberated areas. Discussions also focused on bilateral relations, mine issues, and regional stability efforts.

Belgium has given $250,000 to help in mine clearance activities in Azerbaijan. Gaya Mammadov, head of the department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan, said.

“Mines are the main obstacle to the return of former IDPs to the liberated territories.  This assistance is a symbol of human solidarity and a positive step in our bilateral relations,” he noted.

How significant is the mine problem in Azerbaijan’s liberated territories?

On 4-5 July, a panel led by the Chairman of the Board of the Azerbaijan Mine Action Agency (ANAMA) Vugar Suleymanov is on a working stay in Belgium. The aim of the visit is to inform the international community regarding the scale of the current mine problem in Azerbaijan and the humanitarian demining assignments carried out in the liberated territories. 

According to the latest information, 363 people have been impacted by mine explosions in the liberated regions since November 2020, 69 of whom have passed. Experts calculate that there are hundreds of thousands of unexploded mines in the autonomous territories of Azerbaijan.

What were the outcomes of the Azerbaijan-Belgium ministerial meeting?

Last year, in December Azerbaijan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Jeyhun Bayramov sat with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Affairs and Foreign Trade and the Federal Cultural Institutions of the Kingdom of Belgium Hadja Lahbib on the sidelines of the Eastern Partnership Foreign Affairs Ministerial conference held in Brussels, Belgium.

The meeting revolved around the agenda of bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and Belgium, as well as the current situation in the region. The sides emphasised the importance of continuing high-level visits, economic partnership and political consultations.

Emphasizing the latest developments in the region, Minister Ceyhun Bayramov indicated that there is a great possibility for achieving real progress in the accord process after the termination of the presence of the Armenian armed forces in Azerbaijani regions as a result of the anti-terrorist actions carried out in the region in September of this year. He also reported to Hadja Lahbib about the recent steps that serve to affirm peace and stability, as well as confidence between Azerbaijan and Armenia. During the conference, the parties also exchanged views on other issues of mutual interest.

What is Belgium’s stance on Azerbaijan-Armenia peace efforts?

Belgium stands firmly behind steps for a peaceful and comprehensive resolution between Azerbaijan and Armenia, Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs Hadja Lahbib stated. “Good to speak with my Azerbaijani colleague Jeyhun Bayramov. Belgium stands firmly behind efforts for a peaceful and comprehensive resolution with Armenia, fostering stability in the region,” she said. She stated that the sides also examined EU-Azerbaijan relations and ways to reinforce bilateral cooperation.

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Sarhan Basem is Brussels Morning's Senior Correspondent to the European Parliament. With a Bachelor's degree in English Literature, Sarhan brings a unique blend of linguistic finesse and analytical prowess to his reporting. Specializing in foreign affairs, human rights, civil liberties, and security issues, he delves deep into the intricacies of global politics to provide insightful commentary and in-depth coverage. Beyond the world of journalism, Sarhan is an avid traveler, exploring new cultures and cuisines, and enjoys unwinding with a good book or indulging in outdoor adventures whenever possible.