Minister Ivan Korčok in Azerbaijan

17. March 2021

The Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic Ivan Korčok visited Azerbaijan on Wednesday. During his first visit to Baku as Minister, he held talks with his ministerial partner, Jayhun Bajram, and Economy Minister Mikayil Jabbarov.

The main topic of negotiations was economic relations. Ministers also touched on the security situation in the South Caucasus, cooperation between the European Union and Azerbaijan, the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as other current foreign policy issues. “My first visit to Azerbaijan was useful. This country is literally located at the crossroads of two continents. Despite the relative geographical distance between our countries, we have a common interest in the further development of bilateral cooperation, especially in the trade and economic field,“said Minister I. Korčok.

In addition to the COVID-19 pandemic, the South Caucasus region was hit by the war in Nagorno-Karabakh and its surrounding areas in 2020. Ivan Korčok, was one of the first foreign ministers who contacted his ministerial partners by telephone after the outbreak of fighting with the ministerial partners of Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Of course, we also talked about relations with the European Union and the recent conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. I confirmed our position: Firstly, Slovakia supports existing international platforms aimed at finding peaceful coexistence of both ethnic groups in Nagorno-Karabakh. Otherwise, this frozen conflict can flare up again at any time. Its victims – innocent civilians and members of ethnic and religious groups – will once again suffer in a conflict that has no military solution. Second, the only way is strict adherence to the ceasefire, political dialogue and readiness for concessions and compromises. Thirdly, respect for the principles of international law, including the exchange of prisoners as soon as possible and the free return of people forced to flee their homes as a result of the conflict. Equally important is the principle of protection of cultural heritage, by which both parties are bound,” concluded Minister I. Korčok.

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