“Japan is interested in developing relations with Azerbaijan, which enjoys an important geographical location,” said Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono as he met with his Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov.
The ministers hailed the friendly relations between Azerbaijan and Japan, saying they are based on mutual understanding and respect. They also praised the development of bilateral political dialogue, pointing to the successful cooperation in the energy sector.
Minister Mammadyarov highlighted the ongoing fundamental reforms to diversify the economy in Azerbaijan, adding that there are favorable opportunities for even closer engagement of Japanese companies in the non-oil sector. They also exchanged views on the launch of direct flights between Azerbaijan and Japan.
FM Mammadyarov also spoke of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the negotiation process with the mediation of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs. He noted that the unresolved status of the conflict and the illegal presence of the armed forces of Armenia in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan constitute a serious threat to the regional peace and security. The minister emphasized that the Armenian forces must be withdrawn from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan as demanded by UN Security Council resolutions in order to ensure peace and enable political settlement of the conflict.
Minister Kono said Japan supports the peaceful settlement of the conflict on the basis of norms and principles of international law.
The foreign ministers held a joint press conference following the meeting.