President Aliyev: Medvedev’s visit - proof of friendly attitude to Azerbaijan

Politics Materials 8 April 2016 15:44 (UTC +04:00)
Azerbaijan considers today's visit of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to Baku as another proof of friendly and partner attitude towards the country.
President Aliyev: Medvedev’s visit - proof of friendly attitude to Azerbaijan

Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr. 8


Azerbaijan considers today's visit of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to Baku as another proof of friendly and partner attitude towards the country, said the Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.

The president made the remarks Apr. 8 in a joint statement for the media following an expanded meeting with the Russian PM.

"We attach great importance to your visit," President Aliyev told Medvedev. "Today, during the talks in the expanded and one-on-one formats, we discussed the important issues of bilateral cooperation and regional problems."

President Aliyev added that, especially taking into account the recent escalation, they also had detailed discussions on the issues related to the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

He said Azerbaijan appreciates that Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev is on an official visit to Baku today.

"I invited Medvedev to visit Azerbaijan and I know that he was planning to pay this visit. But the fact that this visit was paid today is considered by us as another proof of friendly and partner attitude towards Azerbaijan," added Ilham Aliyev.

"We all know that Prime Minister Medvedev was planning to pay an official visit to Armenia on Apr.7. Given the current situation on the conflict zone, we appreciate the decision to visit Azerbaijan on Apr.8," said the president.

It once again shows that the relations with both Armenia and Azerbaijan are of great importance for Russia, he added.

President Aliyev pointed out that Azerbaijan also attaches great importance to the relations with Russia, adding that Baku values these relations and tries to boost and strengthen them.

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict hasn't been resolved throughout many years and not only Nagorno-Karabakh, but also seven surrounding districts of Azerbaijan have been under occupation for over 20 years, said the president.

The entire Azerbaijani population was expelled from those lands, all houses and historical monuments were destroyed there, he added.

"We have over 700,000 IDPs from the conflict zone alone," the president said, noting that with over 250,000 refugees from Armenia added to this number, Azerbaijan had one of the highest rates of refugees and IDPs per capita in 1994 when the ceasefire was achieved.

There is a mechanism for the conflict's settlement, there are four resolutions of the UN Security Council, demanding the withdrawal of Armenian armed forces from Azerbaijani territories, President Aliyev said, adding that regrettably, they are not fulfilled.

Further, Azerbaijan's president said that as the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing country, Russia plays an important role in the conflict's settlement.

"We appreciate this role," said Ilham Aliyev, adding that this especially proved itself against the background of another armed provocation by Armenia, when Azerbaijan's positions, including the settlements, were subjected to an attack.

"Over 400 houses located near the line of contact were damaged, a few dozens of them were completely destroyed," he said. "We have victims among the civilians as well,"
The president pointed out that under these conditions, Russia put forward an initiative to de-escalate the conflict.

"Russia's President Vladimir Putin made a phone call to me and Armenia's president, expressed concern and desire to help the parties de-escalate the situation," said Ilham Aliyev. "We positively took these signals."

President Aliyev added that chiefs of Azerbaijani and Armenian general staffs met in Moscow with participation of Russian chief of general staff and adopted a decision on suspending the military operations.

"We strictly comply with this decision," he said. "We hope that Armenia will also adhere to it."

President Aliyev said Azerbaijan is committed to the process of negotiation for the conflict's settlement.

Negotiations have been going on for 20 years and all the accusations by Armenia that allegedly Azerbaijan is the initiator of the escalation are absolutely groundless, added Ilham Aliyev.

"The nature of the clashes that took place in early April shows that we didn't and don't intend to start large-scale military operations," he noted. "We were simply protecting our positions and the peaceful life of our citizens."

"Therefore, the conflict's settlement is in Azerbaijan's interests, I am sure it is in the interests of Armenia," said the president, adding Russia, as a neighbor and a friend of the both countries is also interested in the speedy settlement.

"We will continue the negotiation process," added President Aliyev. "We welcome the initiative of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs, who have recently visited the region, and hope that their calls for changing the status quo will be heard in Armenia as well."

The president also noted that changing the status quo, Armenia's withdrawal from Azerbaijan's occupied lands are the main conditions for a comprehensive settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

"Once this happens, peace, harmony and cooperation will be restored in the region and this will benefit all the countries in the region," the president added.