Baku, Azerbaijan, May 15
By Elmira Tariverdiyeva - Trend:
As declared by President Ilham Aliyev, Azerbaijan's priorities at the UN Security Council were to promote the ideals of justice and the supremacy of international law enshrined in the UN Charter, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov said.
The foreign minister made the remarks in his interview with The Business Year journal.
"Guided by this vision, Azerbaijan, by virtue of its experience and potential, worked hard during its tenure to make a unique contribution to global peace and security," the minister stressed.
"With a firm belief in goodwill diplomacy, we started, first and foremost, to build constructive dialogue within the UNSC," he added.
Azerbaijan has demonstrated that permanent members of the UNSC can make a difference, affect outcomes, and contribute constructively to the regional security, according to Mammadyarov.
He underscored that during its membership in the UNSC, Azerbaijan has demonstrated its principled position of respect for international law and justice on all issues on the Security Council agenda.
"Throughout this period, the Republic of Azerbaijan has proven to be a reliable partner determined to further strengthen its cooperation with the international community, including members of the UN, intergovernmental organizations, and civil society."
"I can also add that UNSC membership has opened a new page in Azerbaijan's foreign policy. A great experience that we've gained, will continue to contribute to our activity on the world arena," the Azerbaijani Foreign Minister stressed.
Regarding Azerbaijan's importance for Europe's energy security, the minister said that the Southern Gas Corridor project, envisaging the supply of Azerbaijani gas to Europe, will change the energy map of the region and Europe.
Since the introduction of the concept of the Southern Gas Corridor, Azerbaijan has continuously demonstrated its political will to contribute to the implementation of this project, Mammadyarov said in the interview.
Mammadyarov underscored that the birth of the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP), as a strategic midstream component of the Southern Gas Corridor, testifies to Azerbaijan's dedication.
This means that Azerbaijan is making its contribution to Europe's energy security, he added.
"Azerbaijan's energy policy has been developed based on the principles of mutually beneficial cooperation, commercial viability, matching the interests of consumers and producers, transparency, reliability, and sustainability."
"Proceeding from this logic, we are convinced that the TAP project, through our joint efforts, will add considerable value for Europe's energy supply and its diversification," Mammadyarov stressed.
Attention towards the interests of producer, transit, and consumer countries, will contribute to further economic development across the board and enhance mutual cooperation and friendship with these countries on all directions, Azerbaijani foreign minister said.
In his interview, Mammadyarov also touched upon the negotiation process on settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
He pointed out that the ongoing conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan continues to represent a serious threat and challenge to international and regional peace and security, and prevents sustainable regional development at full capacity in the South Caucasus.
"Our view on the solution of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan is unequivocal and is based on the fundamental principles of international law, four resolutions of the UNSC and other international organizations," Mammadyarov said.
"We sincerely believe that there is no alternative to peace, stability, and mutually beneficial regional cooperation," the minister stressed.
Without prejudice to its rights under the UN Charier, Azerbaijan remains committed to the conflict settlement process and will make every effort to put an end to illegal occupation of Azerbaijani territories by Armenia, Mammadyarov said.
He stressed that Azerbaijan will restore its sovereignty and territorial integrity, ensure the return of forcibly displaced people to their homes and guarantee the peaceful coexistence of Armenian and Azerbaijani communities in Azerbaijan's Nagorno-Karabakh.
"We firmly believe that eliminating the military consequences of the Armenian occupation, along with the launch of confidence building measures, is the proper route to a peaceful resolution of the conflict."
He went on to add that the attempts by the Armenian side to misinterpret the norms and principles of international law and its insistence on unrealistic occupation claims, which Azerbaijan will never accept, represent an open challenge to the conflict settlement process and could greatly jeopardize the negotiation process.
The Armenian president has to understand that demonstrating a constructive approach and denouncing its occupation policy towards its neighbor will change security perceptions in the region and positively affect the peace negotiations process, the minister added.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the U.S. are currently holding peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.
UNSC membership opens new page in Azerbaijan's foreign policy
Baku, Azerbaijan, May 15