Ilham Aliyev: We had to defend ourselves from Armenian aggression (Update 2)

Details added (First version was posted at 17:02)

Berlin, Germany June 7

By Sevil Mikayilova - Trend:

Important issues of bilateral Azerbaijan-Germany relations were discussed at the meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, said President Ilham Aliyev at the joint press conference with Merkel in Berlin, Trend's correspondent reported from the event.

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan was one of the important parts of our discussion, said the president.

He went on to add that the resolution of the conflict must be based on implementation of international law norms and UN Security Council resolutions, which demand immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Armenian Armed Forces from the territories of Azerbaijan.

Unfortunately, said the president, the sanctions have not been imposed on Armenia for brutal violation of international law, policy of ethnic cleansing and occupation of almost 20 percent of a sovereign state's territory.

Recent development in the region shows that in the land of conflict the ceasefire is not stable, it is fragile, and the status quo is not acceptable, said Ilham Aliyev.

He reminded that in April Armenia launched another military provocation against Azerbaijan.

"We had to defend ourselves, defend our civilians. By the way, six civilians were killed as a result of Armenian aggression," said Ilham Aliyev, adding that the status quo in the conflict must be changed.

The president said that issues of regional security and regional cooperation were also discussed in a meeting with Angela Merkel.

President Ilham Aliyev then said that earlier he attended the Azerbaijan-Germany business forum, adding that a big amount of leading German companies expressed interest in doing business with Azerbaijan.

According to the president, the German representatives at the forum said that 80 percent of Germany's trade with South Caucasus falls on Azerbaijan.

Speaking about Azerbaijan-initiated Southern Gas Corridor, Ilham Aliyev said that it was the project of energy diversification for Azerbaijan as a producer, and for consumers - an alternative source of gas from Azerbaijan, which will be delivered by brand new transportation infrastructure.

Energy security today cannot be separated from the national security of countries, which depend on energy supply, and these countries need to have diversified routes and sources, said Ilham Aliyev.

The president went on to say that the Southern Gas Corridor project, which is worth $45 billion, will be implemented on time.

Ilham Aliyev stated that other areas of cooperation between Azerbaijan and Germany are also of great importance.

"I also informed the chancellor about the transportation projects that Azerbaijan implements to create the reliable connection between Asia and Europe," said the president, adding that shortest route from Asia to Europe will be through Azerbaijan.

Speaking of political issues discussed at the meeting with Angela Merkel, President Ilham Aliyev said that Azerbaijan is strongly committed to democracy, protection of human rights.

"Many steps have been taken recently in order to address these issues," said the president, adding that today Azerbaijan provides all the fundamental freedoms, such as freedom of assembly, freedom of media.

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