Azerbaijani authorities take offence at Kyrgyzstan
13th Summit of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) was held in Pakistan’s capital. Islamabad declaration was adopted following the summit. As it is pointed out in the document, the organization expresses concern about the existing unresolved conflicts in the ECO area, that impede the development of the region. The document also includes a clause stating that Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict hinders the economic growth and the realization of full economic potential of the region, as well as the development of economic cooperation on regional and broader level.
Kyrgyzstan refused to accept the aforesaid clause, regarding it as being ‘politically charged’.
As Hikmet Hajiyev, Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, told Trend news agency, ‘Kyrgyzstan’s position is absolutely incomprehensible. Such a stance raises serious questions as to whose hand it plays into.’
Novruz Mammadov, the Head of Foreign Relations Department at the President’s Administration, also expressed regret over Kyrgyzstan’s position. In his words, what Azerbaijan viewed as the most important about the draft declaration was the position on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
“The participant states voted on this issue. Regrettably, Kyrgyzstan didn’t join the declaration, arguing that it was a political issue. We were surprised at that. Kyrgyzstan’s move is absolutely incomprehensible. We have always cooperated with this country and we will continue to do so in future. There was nothing unusual about this declaration. It just reflected the UN principles,” Mammadov told APA news agency.
- Full text of the Islamabad Declaration is available here. Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict is mentioned in Clause 20.
- Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) is a regional intergovernmental economic organization, set up by the countries of Central Asia and Middle East in 1985.
- ECO has intensified its activity since 1992, after the organization was joined by 7 new members –Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.