Ilham Aliyev: No country recognizes illegal Nagorno Karabakh as independent entity (UPDATE)
Details added, first version posted at 11:44
Baku, Azerbaijan, April 28
By Seymur Aliyev - Trend:
No country in the world recognizes illegal Nagorno Karabakh, said Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, speaking at the opening of the 3rd Baku Global Shared Societies Forum in Azerbaijani capital on April 28.
The president reminded that almost 20 percent of the Azerbaijani territory is occupied by Armenia, and as a result of the conflict more than one million of Azerbaijanis became IPDs and refugees on their own land.
"We suffered from ethnic cleansing, from Khodjaly genocide, which is recognized already by more than 10 countries, and this process continues, we're suffering from brutal violation of international law," the president said.
"The occupation of internationally recognized and historic territories of Azerbaijan by Armenia continues for many years, regardless the four UN Security Council Resolutions, which require immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Armenian troops from Azerbaijani territories," he said.
The president said Nagorno Karabakh is a historic, integral part of Azerbaijan, and no country in the world recognizes the illegal Nagorno Karabakh as an independent entity.
"Territorial integrity is a fundamental principle of international law," Ilham Aliyev said. "It is written in the UN Charter, it is one of the most important elements of international law, as it is defined in the Helsinki Final Act. And there should be no contradiction, and very clear understanding that the right for self-determination should not violate the territorial integrity of the countries."
President Aliyev said that territorial integrity of any country cannot be changed without an agreement of the government and people of that country.
"Territorial integrity of Azerbaijan has the same value as territorial integrity of any other country," he said. "Unfortunately, we see in many parts of the world that aggressive separatism attempts to implement the policy of cessation, and violation of territorial integrity lead to conflicts."
"If the Nagorno Karabakh conflict would've been resolved, today probably we wouldn't be seeing other conflicts," he said.
President Aliyev added that Azerbaijan is strongly committed to resolution of this conflict, based on the international law norms and the UN Security Council resolutions.
"This is the biggest problem of our country, the biggest impediment for our development," he said.
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 US are currently holding peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the UN Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.