UK Minister for Europe to call for direct peace talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan during South Caucasus trip
YEREVAN, NOVEMBER 20, ARMENPRESS. UK Minister for Europe, Leo Docherty, is commencing a South Caucasus tour on November 20. The minister is expected in Armenia on Monday, the British embassy said in a statement.
“The UK is stepping up its cooperation and support for peace and stability in the South Caucasus as UK Minister for Europe, Leo Docherty, will underline on his tour of Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan which commences today (Monday 20 November).
“The region, located on Russia’s southern border, remains vulnerable to external interference as it recovers from the impacts of conflict and attempts to press ahead with reform agendas in support of democratic choice for freedom and independence.
“Building on the formal Strategic Dialogues with all three countries earlier this year, Minister Docherty will extend the UK’s offer of increased trade and security cooperation to help the countries to diversify their and reduce European reliance on Russia.
Ahead of arriving in Yerevan, Minister for Europe Leo Docherty said:
“The South Caucasus faces significant security challenges, both internally and from its neighbours which threaten to destabilise the region.
“In a volatile region, the UK is a reliable partner for reform, peace and stability.”
“The Minister for Europe arrives in Yerevan ready to build on the momentum of last week’s UK-Armenia Strategic Dialogue in London, during which both sides agreed to enhance cooperation in trade, security and on the rule of law.
“In Tbilisi, he will reaffirm the UK’s unequivocal support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and back its Euro-Atlantic aspirations, in line with the will of the Georgian government and people.
“The UK is working with the Georgian government to build its resilience against Russian aggression, including through the Tailored Support Package agreed at the 2022 NATO Summit in Madrid.
“Following recent events in Nagorno-Karabakh, Minister Docherty will urge the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan to engage meaningfully in internationally-mediated negotiations to reach an historic agreement and secure lasting peace for the region.
“In September, the UK contributed £1million to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to support the humanitarian response to the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh and the wider region.
“The UK became one of the first countries to provide demining support to Azerbaijan, providing world-leading equipment and delivering mine clearance training to local authorities. Minister Docherty visits Baku just as the UK is building on that partnership - extending its offer for specialised courses in explosive ordnance disposal which will provide the skills needed to operate in a high threat environment,” the embassy said.