The foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Slovakia on Wednesday discussed bilateral ties and Baku’s normalization with Armenia in the Slovakian capital Bratislava.
“During the meeting, the parties exchanged views on the existing bilateral cooperation relations between the two countries in political, economic, energy, tourism, education, agriculture, law-contract, and cultural-humanitarian fields,” a statement by the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry read.
The statement said Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov and his Slovakian counterpart Miroslav Wlachovsky discussed ways to develop bilateral cooperation, as well as the expansion of diplomatic representation and bilateral visits.
It further said Bayramov informed Wlachovsky of the normalization process between Azerbaijan and Armenia, in addition to mentioning the restoration and reconstruction works carried out by Slovak companies in the areas freed from Armenian occupation.
For his part, Wlachovsky noted Slovakia’s support to EU efforts in the normalization of Azerbaijan-Armenia relations and “the provision of lasting peace in the region,” it added.
An earlier statement said Bayramov also met with Slovakian Prime Minister Ludovit Odor, where the two discussed cooperation in the political, economic, energy security, cultural, tourism, and humanitarian areas between Baku and Bratislava.
“The issues on the cooperation agenda, including regional and international security issues, were discussed. … Odor stressed that Slovakia is interested in the further development of relations with Azerbaijan and the importance of continuing efforts in this direction,” it added.
Relations between the two former Soviet republics have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.
In the fall of 2020, Azerbaijan liberated several cities, villages, and settlements from Armenian occupation during 44 days of clashes. The Russia-brokered peace agreement is celebrated as a triumph in Azerbaijan.
Despite the ongoing talks on a peace agreement, tensions between the neighboring countries increased in recent months over the Lachin corridor, the only land route giving Armenia access to Karabakh.