Adoption of UN Resolution on Lingering Conflicts to Become Heating Argument for Against Kosovo Variant: Azerbaijani Foreign Minister
Trend's Interview with Elmar Mammadyarov, the Azerbaijani Foreign Minister as of results of 2007
Question: What is your estimation to the results of inner political activities in Azerbaijan in 2007? What were the successes and is there a millstone which still needs reviewing?
Question: I think over the year our foreign policy developed constantly and much has been achieved. Thus, in 2007 Azerbaijan chaired at three international organizations. The chairmanship of the Foreign Ministry at the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) was greatly estimated. We have done comprehensive work at GUAM and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and considerably expanded the diapason of cooperation and internal mechanisms of organizations.
In 2007 a painful issue for Azerbaijan - the Armenian aggression and occupation - was included in the 62nd UN General Assembly. The international organization and different countries support Azerbaijan's right based on the international law and include them in their official statement and documents.
The relations with NATO are successfully developing within the framework of the Action Plan in Individual Partnership Program.
There is progress in the bilateral relations. There evolved new mechanism for cooperation with the countries of South America. Africa and Asia.
The opening of embassies, signing of bilateral documents, cooperation in the international and multilateral format gave an impetus to these countries.
It is notable that earlier Azerbaijan was striving for establishment of relations, whereas now this process has become of bilateral interest and directly testifies for increasing role of Azerbaijan and its expanding potential.
Last year the number of senior ranking officials visiting Azerbaijan on the level of the Foreign Ministry increased several times, the significance and coverage of the document signed have expanded.
In 2007 Azerbaijan opened seven embassies and diplomatic representations and six countries opened their embassies in Azerbaijan.
Progress was observed in the relations with the neighboring countries and major trade partners. I can cite too many milestones, but we informed the public over the last year. At the same time, we will not be satisfied with the achieved and in 2008 we will increase the efforts for improvement of our national interests.
Question: During the last meeting in Madrid the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs gave to Azerbaijani and Armenian sides a plan on the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. What are the major items and positions of the document on Azerbaijan? What are your views on continuing the process of resolution?
Answer: The territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan should be restored in all occupied territory and the internally displaced people exposed to ethnic cleansing by should be repatriated to the native lands, including the Nagorno-Karabakh. Madrid proposals are built namely on this principle.
Question: What is your estimation to 2008 amid the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict taking into consideration the forthcoming presidential elections both in Azerbaijan and Armenia?
Answer: We establish our own policy based on real analysis and real steps. We can be optimistic only in case we see political will of Armenia for settlement of the conflict.
Question: Were the talks with Turkmenistan and Iran on the definition of the Caspian Sea status moved from the dead point? What is the progress in the talks held on the bilateral and multilateral basis?
Answer: I think there was not 'paralysis', but simply disagreements which still remain unsolved. However, several important meetings, such the summit of heads of state, were held and it makes us hopeful for the resolution of the conflict. Now it is planed to hold meetings of the Working Group.
Question: What are Azerbaijan's plans for the development of GUAM? What is the progress in the projects on the expansion of economic cooperation and establishment of peacemaking battalion?
- The Foreign Ministry developed a special program in connection with chairmanship at the GUAM and work is carried out on its basis. Major points of the program are as follows:
- Cooperation in the sphere of resolution of lingering conflicts in the territory of GUAM;
- Cooperation in the law enforcement and security fields;
- Interaction within the framework of international organizations, cooperation with the rest countries and international organizations;
- Cooperation in the sphere of economy and support to cooperation of business circles;
- Cooperation in the spheres of transport, communications and information technologies and development of transport corridors of GUAM;
- Cooperation in ensuring energy security, including the use of alternative energy sources;
- Cooperation in preventing emergency situations;
- Support to cooperation within the Parliamentary Assembly of GUAM;
- Cooperation in the humanitarian and tourist spheres.
We carry out work on all these points. Activities within the framework of expert meetings, discussions, international organizations gained permanent character.
Question: What are your views on ways out from the Kosovo crisis with the consideration of failure in achievement of compromise between Pristine and Belgrade? Do you share the opinions that granting Kosovo independence can become a precedent for other lingering conflicts?
Answer: The conflicts should be solved within the framework of the international law. The international organizations and different countries voiced their support to the resolution of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh conflict within the framework of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.
The adoption of the UN Resolution on the lingering conflicts proposed by the GUAM countries, will be a heated argument against the application of Kosovo variant as a precedent for the resolution of other conflicts
This resolution envisages settlement of conflicts with in the framework of sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of borders of the countries.