"What will happen next, life will show" - Ilham Aliyev on the situation in the negotiations with Armenia
Aliyev on negotiations with Armenia
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev attended an event organized in Shusha on the occasion of Victory Day in the second Karabakh war in autumn 2020, where he delivered a speech.
“No one can intimidate us,” the Azerbaijani president said, referring to the recent military exercises of the Iranian army in the border zone. Aliyev also talked about the presence of Russian peacekeepers in Karabakh, noting that “peacekeepers are stationed there temporarily, the period of their stay is fixed.” “If Armenia shows goodwill, it will be signed; if not, it will not be signed. What will happen next, time will tell,” Aliyev concluded.
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“This is hypocrisy, this is betrayal”
In his speech, Aliyev, without naming the country, raised the topic of Iran, calling the latest actions of Azerbaijan’s southern neighbor “hypocrisy”:
“We have established close ties with Muslim countries and managed to explain to them that Armenia is pursuing an aggressive policy not only against us, but also against the entire Muslim world.
Those who destroy mosques cannot be friends of Muslims. Can the leaders of Muslim countries open their arms to those who destroy mosques? Can they hug and kiss? This is hypocrisy, this is betrayal. There is no other name for this.
Therefore we have isolated Armenia from the main pillars in the Muslim world. True, they did not manage to do it completely. But in general, Armenia was recognized in the Muslim world as a country that destroys and insults mosques, and we have achieved this,” the President of Azerbaijan said.
“We must be prepared and we are ready”
Military spending in the state budget of Azerbaijan for 2023 has reached a record level, Ilham Aliyev noted, and explained the reason for this growth:
“They may ask: why, the war is left behind, two years have passed. The answer is very simple. Revanchist forces are raising their heads in Armenia, circles that do not want to accept the outcome of the war.
Armenia does not fully comply with the statement of November 10, 2020, has not fully withdrawn its armed forces from Karabakh, has not provided us with the Zangezur corridor, and periodically commits military provocations against us. Of course we have to be prepared and we are ready.”
“Russian peacekeepers are stationed there temporarily”
The President of Azerbaijan repeated that Karabakh is an internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan and expressed a harsh opinion of the duration of Russian peacekeepers’ presence in the region.
“Armenia must not forget the lessons of the second Karabakh war, and they must know that playing with fire will cost them dearly. Let the government, let the opposition, or some element, taught and sent from abroad, harbors some evil intentions against us, then he will again see our fist, and the history of the last two years has shown this.
Even the events of this year – Operation Farrukh, Operation Retribution, the events that took place on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border on September 13-14 – all this should be a lesson for Armenia. We are teaching this lesson and we hope that they will finally understand this, humbly go about their internal affairs, not covet our lands, not covet Karabakh.
Karabakh is our land. Russian peacekeepers are temporarily stationed there, in the Statement dated November 10, 2020, the period of their stay is fixed, and if they opposite that, they will again face tragedy,” he stated.
“Our patience is not limitless”
“We always respect international agreements. We are a fair people and a fair country. If we have taken on an obligation, then we fulfill it. We fulfill all the obligations assumed in the Application dated November 10, 2020, we have been fulfilling it for two years.
Does Armenia comply? No! Immediately after the second Karabakh war, it was in such fear that, naturally, it complied with these provisions and the territories of Agdam, Kalbajar, Lachin regions that were under occupation were returned to us without a single shot. If they had not been returned, we would have broken their heads again.
And then what? After that, they again began to waste time. I want to say again that this obligation has not yet been fully fulfilled. What are the Armenian armed forces doing in Karabakh? Our patience is not unlimited, and I once again want to warn that if this obligation is not fulfilled, then Azerbaijan will take the necessary steps,” Aliyev said, referring to the conditions of the tripartite statement signed by the presidents of Azerbaijan, Russia, and the Prime Minister of Armenia.
“The events of September 13-14 did not come from nowhere”
The President of Azerbaijan, in his speech, dwelled on the border conflict on September 13-14, and on the realities created because of these battles:
“The events of September 13-14 did not come out of nowhere. Naturally, Armenia committed another military provocation against us. But our response was very effective. Our response could be weaker if they fulfilled their obligations. Our response could have been tougher if we wanted war. We don’t want this, we don’t want bloodshed. We just want what is rightfully ours.
After the operation on September 13-14, the armed forces of Azerbaijan were deployed at the main strategic heights in the direction of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border. Armenia should be well aware of what this means.
Today, from these strategic heights, we see with our own eyes the cities of Garakils (Vanadzor), Kafan (Kapan), Goris, Istisu (Jermuk). We are located on the shore of Lake Bala Goycha (a small lake next to Lake Sevan). Lake Boyuk Goycha (Sevan) is also in front of our eyes. All this is reality. We created these realities after the Patriotic War. Why?
First: in response to the military provocations of Armenia, and to prevent future provocations.
Second: Armenia does not fulfill its international obligations. Armenia was defeated in the second Karabakh war, its army was destroyed. A defeated country cannot behave like this. Therefore, all our steps are justified.
True, some foreign patrons of Armenia want to accuse us of something. I answered them too. If they are still crowing about something, then I will answer again. It won’t stop me. But the fact is that we demand our rights, and the fact that Azerbaijan is right is not called into question by major international actors.”
“What will happen next, time will tell”
Aliyev also hinted in his speech at the recent military exercises of the Iranian army on the border with Azerbaijan.
“Our army has shown heroism, professionalism and dedication. If necessary we will show it again, we will achieve what we want. Everyone knows this, and those who conduct military exercises on our border in support of Armenia should also know this. No one can intimidate us,” he said.
“If Armenia wants to pursue a policy of good neighborliness, then, first of all, it must fulfill all the provisions of the statement of November 10, 2020. It must be sincere in peace talks with Azerbaijan. They should not artificially drag things out, should not wait for some miracle that someone will come and fight in their place. No one will come and fight instead of them, and if they fight, they will again see the Azerbaijani army in front of them.
We want peace, we don’t want war. Peace, but a just world. The terms we put forward are fair, based on international law, and the peace treaty must be signed on the basis of these terms. If Armenia shows goodwill, it will be signed; if not, it will not be signed. Time will tell what will happen next,” Aliyev declared.
Aliyev on negotiations with Armenia