“I can't say when negotiations will start” – Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev gave an interview to Turkish TV channel Haber Global, in which he commented on the latest events taking place on the front line in Nagorno-Karabakh.
Below: the main messages of Aliyev’s interview, translated by JAMnews. Note that the language used below reflects that which was used by the president of Azerbaijan, and not the views of JAMnews.
– Azerbaijan has been living face to face with black PR for many years. There are several reasons for this, one of which is the activity of Armenian diaspora organizations in different countries. Azerbaijan is the main target for them.
– It is for this reason that in recent days the international press for the most part publishes false information about Azerbaijan. We have to try very hard to convey to the world community the truth about Azerbaijan.
– Almost immediately after the announcement of the ceasefire, Armenia continued its heinous deeds. We hoped that after [the ceasefire], the Nagorno-Karabakh issue would be resolved by political means. It was believed that the occupier had learned an effective lesson on the battlefield and after that would come to terms with reality. But unfortunately, the ceasefire was violated by Armenia.
– The next night after the ceasefire was declared, the city of Ganja was subjected to rocket fire, as a result of which civilians were killed and injured. This is another manifestation of the ugly face of Armenian fascism.
– It is already impossible to hide it. The whole world sees that Armenia has become the cause of the conflict, which is pursuing an occupation policy and is committing a crime against the civilian population. Armenia is a terrorist state.
– Almost every day our army liberates cities and villages from occupation, or takes control of the territory of these settlements. Today I can say that several settlements are under our control. But we did not enter those settlements, since from a military point of view, this is not necessary. But after a while we will make more statements.
– Along the entire front line, Armenia is suffering defeat and for this reason it displays its anger at the civilians. This is their characteristic. Those who committed genocide in Khojaly now attacked Ganja.
– According to our information, the order to attack Ganja was personally given by Pashinyan. We have accurate information that the moral and psychological state of Pashinyan is currently very tense and he is making inappropriate decisions.
– I’ll give you an example. They made several attempts to re-occupy Hadrut. I was informed this morning that a large group of commandos from Armenia tried to occupy Hadrut. Although, from a strategic point of view, this settlement is not of particular importance for Armenia. Armenia just wants to go there, take a selfie and report to the people. The Azerbaijani army eliminated this group and the casualties that Armenia suffered last night are victims of Pashinyan’s irresponsible and predatory policies.
– Our cause is just. We are on our lands and we are at war on our territories. The conflict will end when the Armenian soldier leaves our lands.
– We are showing patience. Of course, after such a savage attack on Ganja, the Azerbaijanis demanded an appropriate response. We responded on the battlefield. We avenged our yesterday’s victims on the front line. We are not fighting against civilians. This is exactly what distinguishes Azerbaijan from Armenia.
– Armenia must understand that for a reliable ceasefire, they will never see the occupied territories again, they will never return there. This is absolutely impossible. No matter who says anything, whoever supports who, this will not happen. No force can bring us out of there. The sooner they understand this, the better it will be for them.
– We do not intend to leave the liberated territories and no one can tell us about this. This is contrary to international law and historical justice. We did not receive such signals. There are signals that we should stop, not go forward, there was a ceasefire. We say, well, let there be a truce, but at the same time the issue should be resolved peacefully.
– The statement adopted in Moscow fully meets our interests. There is a clause on substantive negotiations. According to the basic principles, it is planned for the Armenian armed forces in the first stage to leave five regions. After that, all internally displaced persons return to the territories where they lived before the start of the conflict. This means that our internally displaced persons will return to both Shusha and Khankendi. Only after that the issue can be resolved through diplomatic means.
– Another question about the format of the negotiations. Pashinyan has always insisted that the so-called “Nagorno-Karabakh Republic” should be a party to the negotiations. We did not agree to this.
– There are all opportunities for the transition from the military stage to the political one. All that remains is Armenia’s observance of the ceasefire. I hope that the successful operations of the Azerbaijani army last night will force them to do this.
– Until today, the negotiations were conducted within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group. But they are of no use. Over the past 30 years, not even a centimeter of the occupied territories has returned.
– I cannot say when the negotiations will begin. Armenia violates the ceasefire and I do not believe in their sincerity at the negotiating table. In any case, de jure or de facto, Turkey should take part in solving this problem.