Details added (first version posted on 17:33 July 23)
BAKU, Azerbaijan, July 23
Armenia should know that any of its provocations will lead to heavy losses and shameful failure, Assistant to the Azerbaijani president, head of the military affairs department of the Azerbaijani Presidential Administration, Colonel General Maharram Aliyev said in an interview with Trend.
"I express my condolences to the families of our soldiers and officers who sacrificed their lives defending the territorial integrity of our country and I wish them patience,” Aliyev said. “May Allah rest the souls of our martyrs! By heroism and courage, they once again proved that the Azerbaijani army is full of determination and is capable of properly responding to any provocations at any time."
Aliyev also spoke on Armenia's interests, following its gross violation of ceasefire and military provocation in the direction of Azerbaijan's Tovuz district on the Armenia-Azerbaijan border.
“Azerbaijan has previously witnessed provocative actions of the Armenian invaders in various directions of the front on the line of contact and our armed forces reacted to these actions, suppressing the attacks of the Armenian armed forces,” Aliyev stressed.
"However, I would like to draw attention to one more factor. This time, by launching attacks in the direction of Tovuz district, Armenian armed forces tried to strike a blow to the energy projects in which Azerbaijan and Turkey, as well as Georgia, are engaged."
“As is known, such big international projects of the world scale as the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP), the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway stretch in the direction of Tovuz district and having made a provocation in this direction, the Armenians imagined that along with the prestige of the Azerbaijani army, they will also damage the country's energy policy, but it became obvious that they were fundamentally wrong,” Aliyev said.
“The Armenian armed forces not only retreated but were forced to flee, leaving their positions, weapons,” Aliyev said. “The dominant strategic heights of Tovuz district are under the control of the Azerbaijani army, from which all the actions of the Armenian armed forces are seen.”
“Another goal of the Armenian side was to divert attention from the political and economic crisis inside Armenia,” Aliyev said. “Azerbaijan's diplomatic success hastened the political fiasco of the occupying country. Therefore, by making a provocation towards Tovuz district, Armenia tried to dispel internal discontent, as well as divert the attention of the international community from the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.”
“As a result, the problem of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has become more evident for the world community while Armenia found itself squeezed as a result of the double defeat,” Aliyev said. “That is, if today the international political community continues to support Azerbaijan’s fair position, this must be considered as Armenia’s military and political collapse.”
While commenting on the fact that Armenia is beyond all regional projects, the assistant to the Azerbaijani president described this as the result of the vicious, treacherous and aggressive policy of both the current and previous leadership of this country.
"The current authorities, which dragged the Armenian people to hunger and poverty, does not know what to do now, it has no choice,” Aliyev said. “I reiterate that this is one of the reasons for the provocation in the direction of Tovuz district, but Armenia's plan has failed.”
“On the other hand, we also know that Armenia, which has lost foreign countries’ confidence, has always been a victim of its own mistakes,” the assistant to the Azerbaijani president added. “Even the Armenians living in other countries, subsequently showed their true colors by committing betrayal and treason. We can recall the atrocities of illegal Armenian armed groups and organizations in Turkey, France, Georgia, Azerbaijan and other countries.”
“The factor of aggression and ultra-chauvinism is inherent in the character of Armenians, and of course, those who know, understand and are aware of this character, will never trust them,” Aliyev said. “This is an indisputable fact that has become an axiom of our time. Which normal country, state would want to implement a joint project with Armenia or cooperate with it, knowing all this? For this reason, Armenia and its leadership must abandon its aggressive policy, drop its unrealizable claims and overcome this difficult, hopeless situation in which it found itself.”
The assistant to the Azerbaijani president also expressed opinion on the strong international support rendered to Azerbaijan during the recent events.
In particular, Aliyev stressed that Azerbaijan’s voice of justice was heard and supported by big international organizations, certain influential politicians and statesmen.
"In this context, I would like to emphasize that this is based on the tireless activity and strong will of Supreme Commander-in-Chief, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev,” the assistant to the Azerbaijani president added. “For this purpose, the president always touches upon this issue during all his meetings, stating that our people, our state will never put up with the fact that Armenia occupied our lands.”
“The Azerbaijani president emphasized and continues to emphasize that if other side does not put an end to this, Azerbaijan is able to ensure its territorial integrity, liberate the occupied lands, protect, maintain the inviolability of state borders, in full compliance with the requirements of the international law,” Aliyev said.
“The Azerbaijani army demonstrated its might, gave a tough response to Armenia, having won the April 2016 battles and the Gunnut operation in May 2018 and this must be an unforgettable lesson for Armenia,” the assistant to the Azerbaijani president said.
“This time, our army also harshly suppressed the Armenian provocation in the direction of Tovuz district, making it clear that it would inflict crushing blows on Armenia as a result of appropriate measures," Aliyev added.
“The unequivocal support for Azerbaijan is associated with the country's leading role both in the region and in the world,” Aliyev said. “The country plays a key role and acts from the position of the initiator on many issues of the international agenda.”
"However, I would also like to clarify this issue from a military-political point of view,” the assistant to the Azerbaijani president said. “While examining the situation thoroughly, the Azerbaijani armed forces, provided with advanced military equipment, having professional, well-trained personnel and the most modern military-industrial capabilities, hold the highest positions in the international army ratings. So, it is necessary to take into account that at the negotiating table with Azerbaijan, its military strength, the factor of military power, is certainly taken into account.”
“However, it is obvious that while reaching a dead end, the Armenian leadership resorts to provocative actions,” Aliyev said. “The Armenia is well aware of Azerbaijani army's power, so it hopes for the support of international community. However the situation with attacks on Tovuz has shown that the Armenians were wrong again, and gained no support."
“Even the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), where Armenia is a member, did not support it,” the assistant to the Azerbaijani president said. “Regardless of the demands of the Armenians, an extraordinary meeting of the organization did not take place.”
“The reason is that while comparing Azerbaijan and Armenia, the countries represented there see that one of these countries is influential but the other one is hollow,” Aliyev said. “Azerbaijan maintains close contacts with all countries, pursues a successful policy in the spirit of friendship and cooperation, while Armenia, being a puppet, continues to remain a vassal."
While touching upon the factor of Turkey amid the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the assistant to the Azerbaijani president said that the unity of Turkey and Azerbaijan added a glorious page to history of the two countries.
The colonel general added that after Armenia’s provocation on the border in the direction of Tovuz district, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as well as minister of defense made certain statements on this.
"They advised Armenia to come to its senses,” Aliyev added. “This also testifies that both Azerbaijan and Turkey are regional power centers. Both countries cooperate in different directions, in particular, in the military-political sphere and the defense industry. Azerbaijan is as close to Turkey as Turkey is close to Azerbaijan.”
“I would like to remind that during President Erdogan’s official visit to Azerbaijan, very important discussions were held with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev,” the colonel general added. “The documents that will further strengthen the relations between our countries have been signed. Each of the joint global projects which are implemented by Azerbaijan and Turkey is of great importance both in the region and in the world.”
“The realities of military-strategic cooperation can be cited as the significance,” Aliyev said. “Everybody knows that a joint military strategy base has been formed between our countries and military projects have been implemented at different periods of time. In particular, the two countries have established cooperation at the highest level in the defense industry.”
"In general, the development of both countries in various fields, the strengthening of their geographical position, at the same time, military cooperation between the two fraternal countries is important from the point of view of ensuring regional security as Azerbaijan and Turkey is allies in all spheres,” the colonel general said.
“Therefore, any threat to Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity is assessed as a vicious policy towards Turkey,” Aliyev said. “I think that the recent statements made by fraternal Turkey are based on these factors. Of course, Azerbaijan is proud of such steps of our brothers.”
“I would also like to stress that President Aliyev’s historical statement "Karabakh is Azerbaijan!", as well as the reasoned responses to Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on other occasion, vividly demonstrated Azerbaijan’s superiority not only from a military point of view but also diplomatic point of view,” the colonel general added.
“In this context, the supreme commander-in-chief confidently declares that the conflict must be resolved within the territorial integrity, sovereignty and inviolability of borders,” Aliyev said. “The factor of this confidence gives grounds to say that Azerbaijan relies only on its military power, military potential. That is, while speaking about this, one must not forget the fact that the Azerbaijani armed forces are the strongest army in the South Caucasus.”
The colonel general added that the support of the army by the Azerbaijani people, who demonstrated national solidarity when the incidents started, is extremely important.
“Our people came out with a united position,” Aliyev said.
"In particular, the Azerbaijani youth with the spirit of military patriotism expressed the desire to voluntarily join the ranks of the army, which is great,” the colonel general said. “Of course, we are very happy and feel an endless sense of pride in this regard.”
“Thousands of citizens have appealed to the local structure and departments of the Azerbaijani State Service for Mobilization and Conscription,” Aliyev added. “This shows that neither internal nor external enemies are able and will be able to crush such immense love for the Motherland, the spirit of patriotism. The Azerbaijani people unambiguously united around the supreme commander-in-chief. This reality is leading to our new triumphs, new victories.”
“But what do we see on the Armenian side? Aliyev said. “The military-political circles of this country tried to hide the number of soldiers and officers killed during Armenia’s own provocation and people fairly protested. People demand the authorities not to turn their children into victims of the occupation policy. This is another evidence, which is the basis for their failure. That is, Armenia must know that any of its provocations will result in defeat and shameful collapse. Azerbaijan, Azerbaijani people, Azerbaijani army are capable of doing this."