Baku, Azerbaijan, May 28
The main issue of Azerbaijan's foreign policy, and not only foreign, but also its policy as a whole, is the resolution of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, said Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.
He made the remarks addressing an official reception held on the occasion of Azerbaijan's national holiday, the Republic Day.
"I have repeatedly expressed my thoughts on this issue. Azerbaijan's stance has not undergone any changes, and the people support and endorse this stance," he said.
The president noted that the conflict should be resolved within the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.
"There is no other way," he added. "The four resolutions of the UN Security Council, which demand the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Armenian armed forces from our lands, should be fulfilled, and the status-quo should be changed."
He also expressed happiness with the fact that the heads and foreign ministers of the Minsk Group co-chairing countries and other representatives are already unanimously stating that the status-quo is unacceptable and should be changed.
"Changing the status-quo means ending the occupation, as the status-quo suits Armenia, and they don't want peace," added Ilham Aliyev. "They want the status-quo to remain forever. They want the negotiations to be endless, that is, the negotiations to be held for sake of appearance and imitation. We have repeatedly said that it can't be like this."
"We have already been waiting for more than 20 years. The mediators always tell us to wait, to settle peacefully. Recently, they have repeated that often. We also want a peaceful resolution. Who would want the start of a war?!" said the president.
He said Azerbaijan wants the conflict to be resolved, and that is the exact difference between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
The president went on to add that Armenia wants a peaceful settlement to the conflict, but hampers its settlement and creates artificial obstacles.
"Armenia beforehand puts unacceptable terms, so that we don't accept them and thus the negotiations continue for decades. Meanwhile, our stance is constructive, and the mediators know that. They do not state that officially, but acknowledge that," said Ilham Aliyev.
"We are demonstrating a constructive stance so that the issue gets resolved, our lands get freed from occupation and the displaced Azerbaijanis return to the lands of their ancestors. Our stance has not changed," said the president.
He added that the people and government of Azerbaijan will not allow the creation of a second Armenian state in Azerbaijan's historical lands.
"We will never allow that," the president stressed.
"As for the Armenians living in Nagorno-Karabakh, let them live there as they are living," said President Aliyev. "The Armenian leadership always distortedly presents our stance to its people. But I reiterate: our position is that all should live where they have lived."
Ilham Aliyev added that Azerbaijan is a model country in terms of multiculturalism, religious and national tolerance on a global scale.
"Armenia's political leadership, the nationalist groups and people who show a constant hatred towards Azerbaijan, want to disrupt those positive tendencies and cross them out," he said.
"Our territorial integrity is not a subject of talks and I believe that the Vienna meeting was successful," he added. "We expect that serious, as the mediators call it, substantive talks, that is to say, meaningful talks will start soon, without wasting time."
"Aside from that, in the future we should certainly increase our military power, and we are increasing it. The army building process has been successfully going on for many years," said President Aliyev. "The fighting efficiency and the logistical support of our army stand at a high level."
He also said the most modern weapons and equipment are delivered to Azerbaijan and are manufactured inside the country.
"Over 1,000 types of military products are manufactured in Azerbaijan," said Ilham Aliyev. "Currently, the Azerbaijani army is among the leading armies in the world. I have repeatedly said that."
President Aliyev also pointed out that the provocation staged by Armenia in April and the counter-attack operation carried out by the Azerbaijani army showed to Armenia and the whole world that the Azerbaijani army is among the strong armies.
"In the future, we will take additional measures in this regard and relevant instructions have already been given. I don't want to disclose them," said the president. "Necessary measures are underway in terms of logistical support and for obtaining modern equipment."
Ilham Aliyev also noted that the Azerbaijani people should be confident that this issue is constantly in the limelight.
"We know our capacity, we do not use it, we have simply given, are giving and if necessary, will give an adequate response to the provocations and will try to ensure the speedy settlement of this issue through peaceful means," said the president.