We barely see any activity of Minsk Group - Azerbaijani president

We barely see any activity of Minsk Group - Azerbaijani president

BAKU, Azerbaijan, September 28


As for the current period, we barely see any activity of the Minsk Group, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev said in an interview to the Turkish Anadolu Agency, Trend reports.

“The countries chairing the Minsk Group, their presidents made very positive statements several times during the occupation, about seven to eight years ago. One of them, and it was clearly stated, was that the status quo was unacceptable and had to be changed. We also received it very positively. I have personally expressed my views on this issue several times and said that it was a statement that has been expected for many years. To change the status quo means an end of the occupation. However, these statements were not followed by tangible steps. Furthermore, after a while they back down from this statement and put forward a new one – the status quo is not sustainable. In other words, there is a huge difference between them. Unacceptable is one thing, but not sustainable is completely different. I criticized them at the time and said that this change of position was pouring water on the mill of Armenia's policy of aggression. Unfortunately, as the subsequent period showed, the Minsk Group simply did not intend to resolve this issue. We saw this again during the 44-day war because it was actually certain countries co-chairing the Minsk Group that raised the issue against us at the United Nations. There was ongoing war, we were restoring international law in our own lands and waging war for justice, so it was completely unfair to raise an issue of sanctions against us at the United Nations,” President Aliyev said.

“As for the current period, we barely see any activity of the Minsk Group. They usually came here during the negotiations, made proposals, set the agenda for meetings at the presidential level and suggested to us what issues could be discussed. Both sides discussed these issues on the basis of an agreement. But now, although almost a year has passed since the war ended, there are no proposals from them. They came to Azerbaijan once and I told them to make suggestions. We have resolved this issue, the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has been resolved and there is no administrative unit called “Nagorno-Karabakh”. In my speech at the recent session of the UN General Assembly, I appealed to all countries and said that the words “Nagorno-Karabakh” should not be used anymore. There is no such entity in Azerbaijan. There is Karabakh zone, there is Eastern Zangazur. This being the case, the Minsk Group should come up with new proposals. In other words, the issue, the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, is over. What more can be done? In my opinion, there could be confidence-building measures, then the opening of roads, the opening of corridors, the support for the peace process, the improvement of Armenian-Azerbaijani relations, work on the signing of the peace agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan that we are proposing. In other words, I believe that these should be the areas of their activity from now on. Otherwise, can “Nagorno-Karabakh”, a nonexistent entity, have a status? Of course not! I have said this before and I want to say it again – if anyone wants to give Nagorno-Karabakh a status, they should allocate them territory in their own country, create an entity, create a republic there, recognize their independence, and we will recognize it too. But not on the territory of Azerbaijan!” the head of state said.

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