Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov.13
Azerbaijan always feels Iran's support in the settlement of the most important problem for the country - Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said at a joint briefing with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in Baku.
"Iran's position is based on the international law and justice. As you know, this conflict hasn't been resolved for many years," Aliyev said. "Azerbaijan's historical, native land - Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding districts - are under the occupation of Armenian armed forces. The international law is being grossly violated."
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.
Azerbaijan and Armenia 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 four U.N. Security Council resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.
Azerbaijani president added that the UN Security Council - the world's supreme body - has adopted four resolutions on the conflict, demanding the unconditional withdrawal of Armenian armed forces from Azerbaijan's occupied territories.
"Unfortunately, Armenia ignores these resolutions," he said.
Ilham Aliyev said everything, including historical monuments of Azerbaijan were destroyed in the occupied territories.
"The graves of our ancestors, our mosques were destroyed by Armenian thug groups. OSCE fact-finding missions have twice visited the occupied territories and confirmed this in their reports."
Ilham Aliyev said 20 percent of Azerbaijani lands are under occupation, adding that over a million of Azerbaijanis have become refugees and IDPs in their native lands.
"The policy of ethnic cleansing was pursued against us. Armenians committed the Khojaly genocide against Azerbaijan."
The settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict will naturally bring peace to the region, Ilham Aliyev said.
"There is no other way to resolve this conflict. Justice and the international law must be restored," he said. "Azerbaijan should restore its territorial integrity."
President Aliyev said Azerbaijan and Iran always cooperate in other international issues and support each other.
"I'm confident that our activities in international organizations will be further based on these principles as well," he said.
Settlement of Karabakh conflict within territorial integrity to bring peace to region
Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov.13