Baku, Azerbaijan, April 15
Azerbaijan's main problem, related to the international issues, is the settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said.
The president made the remarks at the meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers, dedicated to the results of socio-economic development in the first quarter of 2014 and future tasks.
"Unfortunately there was no progress in this direction in the first quarter. Although late last year the mediators had certain optimistic opinions, they are not justified. Today we are again witnessing the fact that Armenia is simply trying to buy time, keeping the 'neither peace nor war' situation and the international mediators unfortunately do not impose serious pressure on them," Aliyev said.
He stressed that in fact international sanctions should have been imposed against Armenia long ago, "since Armenia has been occupying Azerbaijan's internationally recognized territories for twenty years and because they committed genocide against civilians and the Khojaly genocide."
"The ethnic cleansing policy was conducted against our people. Four UN Security Council resolutions are being violated. There wasn't so much injustice and law violations in any other similar case. The international norms are being violated. UN Security Council resolutions are not fulfilled. The resolutions of other international organizations such as Council of Europe, European Parliament, OSCE and Organization of Islamic Cooperation are not being fulfilled either. They are being ignored," President Aliyev underscored.
The Azerbaijani president went on to say that thousands of Azerbaijani citizens were killed.
"Genocide was committed against us. But ultimately no sanctions are used against Armenia. The question is - why? How long will we face these double standards? What is the reason? Why the leaders of the self-proclaimed 'Nagorno Karabakh Republic' do not suffer from sanctions? Why sanctions are not applied against them? This is injustice, and double standards," President Aliyev said.
"Therefore, we raise our voices in protest against double standards in international relations. We ask the heads of Western countries cooperating with us, not to let the 'heads' of the self-proclaimed 'Nagorno-Karabakh Republic' into their countries and impose sanctions against them," the president noted.
"They go there, conduct illegal telethons, collect money and then use this money against us," Ilham Aliyev said. "Their 'leaders' are received in the leading Western countries. They issue visas, open their 'representative offices' there, make trips. Why? I think it is time for us to more openly express our opinion on this issue."
Ilham Aliyev underscored that Azerbaijan is tired of these double standards.
"It's impossible to endure so much injustice. Why hasn't the aggressor been condemned up until now? Why doesn't the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe discuss the suspension of the Armenian delegation's powers? We have repeatedly raised this issue," he said.
The president went on to add that he himself remembers to have raised this question repeatedly in 2001, as the head of the Azerbaijani parliamentary delegation to PACE.
"Nobody reacts to this. We're told to negotiate and peacefully solve this issue. We had ethnic cleaning conducted against us, as well as genocide," the president noted. "After Azerbaijanis were expelled from Nagorno-Karabakh, the so-called referendum was held there. It is considered acceptable."
The president said the situation is impossible to tolerate.
"We must expose the injustice towards us by the facts and arguments," he said. "I think that this principled position will restore justice and expose the hypocritical policy."
He underlined that hypocritical policy, the policy of double standards are being conducted towards Azerbaijan.
"We will never agree to that. As for the settlement of the conflict, it's no secret that the main factor in the world is the power factor, this is the reality. Therefore, we must be even stronger and first of all, must increase our military power," Ilham Aliyev noted.
"Discussing this issue again, we see that the right decision was made to keep a constant focus on building the army. Weapons, equipment, ammunition, which we have been buying for years, have significantly increased our power today," the president said.
He went on to add that equipment of Azerbaijan's army is just as good as in other strong armies.
"At the same time, I've recently visited Nakhchivan and the military equipment showcase there testifies that Nakhchivan's army also possesses the most modern equipment of the best armies in the world.
"Nakhchivan's army has modern artillery, combat and transport helicopters, anti-tank units, anti-aircraft installations, the most modern T- 72 and T- 90 tanks, other weapons and ammunition. These figures will increase. We must be strong, and will be even stronger," he said.
Translated by E.A. and N.H.
Edited by S.I.