Ilham Aliyev: "We do not need a new war"
Aliyev at the parade in Khankendi
“If the Armenian leadership and some external forces behind it at that time and today had listened to my words, there would have been no need for a second Karabakh war,” Ilham Aliyev saidat a military parade in Khankendi. “We do not need a new war. We have achieved what we wanted, restored international law, restored historical justice,” the Azerbaijani president added.
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A military parade dedicated to the third anniversary of the Azerbaijani army’s victory in the Second Karabakh War was held in Khankendi on November 8.
Speaking about the victory of the Azerbaijani army in the second Karabakh war, Aliyev called it a “historic event”:
“Three years ago, the town of Shusha, which is the crown of Karabakh, was liberated from the occupants. A day after that, the enemy army surrendered and raised the white flag. Thus the second Karabakh war ended with the complete victory of the Azerbaijani state. This is a historic event.”
He also recalled the period preceding the 44-day war and the ongoing negotiations between Azerbaijan and Armenia mediated by the OSCE Minsk Group:
“When I started my activity as president twenty years ago, I told my dear people that we should be ready to liberate our lands militarily. At that time, there was still some hope for peace negotiations. But over the years, those hopes have waned.
Armenia did not want to leave our lands willingly. The mediators engaged in the settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict actually tried to freeze the situation. They believed that the Azerbaijani people would accept the situation. But the Azerbaijani people never thought of putting up with this situation.
If the leadership of Armenia and some external forces, which at that time and today are behind it, had listened to my words, there would have been no need for a second Karabakh war. I have repeatedly said, addressing the leadership of Armenia: If you do not leave our lands, you will face us face to face on the battlefield, and whoever is behind you will not be able to make us turn from our just path. The 44-day Patriotic War has shown this once again.”
“Suspending the war was a deliberate choice we made.”
In his speech, Aliyev touched upon the cessation of the second Karabakh war after the liberation of Shusha:
“After the Shusha victory, the enemy was actually ready to capitulate and signed the capitulation act a day later. And we stopped the war. At that time our armed forces were one step away from Khankendi. Stopping the war at that time was our conscious choice. The fact that we are holding a military parade here today in the central square of the city of Khankendi shows once again how right and wise it was.
The end of the 44-day war on November 10, 2020 allowed us to return Aghdam, Kyalbajar and Lachin districts without a single shot. This was part of the surrender act signed by Armenia and our demand. Armenia was forced to fulfill this demand.
The liberation of Aghdam, Lachin, Kyalbajar districts without a single shot saved the lives of thousands of our young people. We would have liberated these districts on the battlefield in any case. However, the number of our martyrs could have been greater.”
“From now on, we’re not to be trifled with.”
“We have gradually improved our positions on the border, and as a result of various measures we have the most favorable positions on most of the Azerbaijani-Armenian border. Why did we do this? Because we knew that revanchist forces were raising their heads in Armenia. We knew that the foreign forces behind Armenia and inciting it to act against us would again give it provocative signals. We had to protect our border, and as a result of several military operations, today the situation on the Azerbaijani-Armenian border is under our control. At the same time, several military operations conducted in the Karabakh region created conditions for us to seize favorable heights in this region as well. At the same time, these operations were also a signal to the political leadership of Armenia: you must fulfill all the provisions enshrined in the surrender act — withdraw your armed forces from Karabakh, that is your obligation. But in reality we have seen the opposite. Not only did Armenia not withdraw its armed forces, on the contrary, more forces were sent in. At that time the Lachin-Khankendi road was not yet under our control, weapons, ammunition, mines were transferred, and the political leadership of Armenia was unwilling to withdraw its armed forces from Karabakh.
The military operations conducted over the past three years, including the Farrukh operation, the Sarybaba-Girkhgyz operation and others, have significantly improved our strategic position. These operations at the same time were messages to Armenia that no one and nothing can stop us, Karabakh is Azerbaijani land, we dictate the conditions here and you should immediately withdraw your armed forces from our lands. If they had listened to my words then, there would have been no need to hold anti-terrorist activities in September. The cause of all their troubles is themselves.
Four years ago, the Armenian Prime Minister, speaking at the Khankendi stadium across the street, arrogantly said: “Karabakh is Armenia, period.” By shedding blood and taking casualties on the battlefield, we showed him, those like him, and those behind them, that he was on the wrong track. We showed that Karabakh is Azerbaijan by fighting, fighting, fighting no matter what, and today everyone should know that from now on we are not to be trifled with. If the leadership of Armenia is still living with revanchist ideas, if the countries that are used to manipulation and are behind Armenia are still making some insidious plans against Azerbaijan, then let them look at today’s parade.”
“We don’t need another war.”
Aliyev declared that Azerbaijan has achieved its goals and does not want a new war:
“We do not need a new war. We have achieved what we wanted, restored international law, restored historical justice, restored our national dignity and showed the enemy his place. The enemy kneeled before us, and today I am speaking here before the victorious Armed Forces of Azerbaijan. That is, we have fulfilled all our tasks. But at the same time, issues related to the construction of the army will remain a priority for us. Let everyone know it and let no one forget it.”