Allegations that third forces are located near the Azerbaijani-Iranian border are unfounded, the head of the press service of the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Leyla Abdullayeva said, commenting on an interview of the Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian.
She noted that Azerbaijan doesn't accept statements about the presence of any third forces near the Azerbaijani-Iranian border or about the incitement attempts of these forces, because these statements are unfounded.
"In general, the presence on the territory of Azerbaijan of any forces, including terrorist ones, which may pose a threat to our state and neighboring countries, cannot be a subject of discussion. Unfortunately, even during the 44-day Patriotic War, some parties voiced such unfounded allegations. We said it back then and we're saying it now - such allegations are unfounded, and to this day the Azerbaijani side was not presented with any relevant evidence to prove the opposite," the head of the press service of the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said.
Abdullayeva stressed that the inviolability of internationally recognized borders is one of the fundamental principles that Azerbaijan is always guided by. "It was Azerbaijan that for decades suffered from the consequences of military aggression and violation of its international borders. More than 130 kilometers of our border with Iran were under Armenian occupation for many years. Unfortunately, over the years we have not heard from the friendly Iranian state such a harsh reaction as now, regarding the occupation of a part of our border. Azerbaijan is a supporter of establishing relations with all countries on the basis of the principle of respect for internationally recognized borders, which is the invariable policy of our country," Abdullayeva said.
"Azerbaijan announced its readiness to normalize relations with Armenia on the basis of fundamental principles of international law and to begin negotiations on the delimitation of the border. The process of delimiting the border between Azerbaijan and Armenia is a bilateral issue, and the recent positive signals from the opposite side allows us to hope for the development of this process in a constructive manner," the spokesperson said.
Also, commenting on the statement on the intervention of external forces in Azerbaijan, Abdullayeva stressed that Azerbaijan has always pursued an independent foreign policy and has repeatedly proved this with concrete steps over the course of 30 years. "The development of friendly and good-neighborly relations with neighboring countries is one of the main priorities of Azerbaijan's foreign policy, and we are constantly taking steps in this direction," she said.
Abdullayeva also said that Azerbaijan is very sensitive to the issue of Islamic solidarity and therefore takes an active position in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). "Over the past decades, Azerbaijan has been focusing on the destruction, plundering of the Islamic cultural and historical heritage on its territory and highly appreciates the support in this matter of its fair position by the OIC countries," she said.
"We believe that the end of the occupation of Azerbaijani territories, the illegal actions of Armenia in this region, including the concentration of large quantities of weapons and ammunition, illegal economic and other actions, drug smuggling, training of terrorists, destruction and desecration of monuments of Islamic religion and culture, as well as the return of former refugees to their native lands after 30 years of separation, ensuring stability and security in the region must meet the interests of Iran," the head of the press service of the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said.