“Without border delimitation, no one will be able to say where it comes from” - Ilham Aliyev
Ilham Aliyevon on the September 13-14 hostilities
Speaking in Lachin, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev named the conditions under which Armenia could have avoided a second Karabakh war. He also talked about the fighting on the border of the two countries on September 13-14, which claimed the lives of hundreds of soldiers. “Without the delimitation of the border, no one can say where it comes from,” Aliyev said, responding to Armenian statements about “Azerbaijani aggression.”
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President Ilham Aliyev raised the Azerbaijani flag in the city of Lachin, which returned to Azerbaijani control at the end of August 2022. After the commissioning of a new road connecting Khankendi (Armenian: Stepanakert) with the border of Azerbaijan and Armenia, the Azerbaijani army entered the city of Lachin and the towns of Zabukh and Sus, located on the former Lachin corridor.
Ilham Aliyev examined the destruction on the central street of Lachin, which occurred when the city was under the control of the Armenian armed forces.
Below, the speech of Ilham Aliyevon on the September 13-14 hostilities
“This is a war crime”
“The city of Lachin, as well as the entire Lachin region, all other settlements that were under occupation, were subjected to Armenian vandalism. Manifestations of Armenian vandalism can be seen in every town, in every city. The city of Aghdam has been razed to the ground, as well as Fizuli, Jabrayil, all the towns,” Aliyev said in his speech.
In some places, including in the city of Lachin, “Armenians carried out illegal settlement, brought and illegally settled people of Armenian origin from Armenia, and more from abroad – Syria and Lebanon.”
“This is a war crime, it is enshrined in all international conventions as a war crime, and it happened in front of the world community,” he added.
“No one gave us these lands”
Aliyev, in his speech, touched upon the topic of negotiations that lasted several decades and did not yield any results:
“No one gave us these lands, nor returned them to us through negotiations. International organizations, including the UN, its Security Council, the OSCE had to forcibly expel the aggressor state. It was necessary to apply sanctions against Armenia. None of this followed.
In order to perpetuate this occupation, Armenia, overseas Armenians and their foreign patrons, united and tried to carry out this plan. I have always said that the Azerbaijani people would never put up with this. I always said that if the issue were not resolved peacefully, then we would resolve it by military means. We did just that.
Within just 44 days, the Armenian army was defeated. We liberated Shusha, which is considered an impregnable fortress. Jebrayil, Fizuli, Zangilan, Gubadli, Hadrut, Khojavend were liberated on the battlefield. The enemy was broken and forced to leave Lachin, Kalbajar, Agdam.”
“The second Karabakh war might not have happened”
“If Armenia had listened to us, then the second Karabakh war might not have happened. If it voluntarily left our lands, there might not have been a second Karabakh war,” Aliyev said.
He added that immediately after the war, Azerbaijan offered peace to Armenia:
“This is also, perhaps, a unique case in military history – despite the 30-year occupation of our lands, the suffering of our citizens, the destruction of historical and religious monuments, cities, the placement of more than a million mines, we offered peace. But once again they were convinced that Armenia does not want peace, it sticks with revanchist ideas.
We proposed to start the process of delimitation. Armenia dragged it out for more than a year. Today, even if such a process begins, it will be purely formal, no substantive negotiations are being held, no discussions on maps are being held.
We have prepared all the maps – both the maps of the 20th century and the maps of the previous period. Delimitation work should be carried out according to these maps.
“Without carrying out the delimitation of the border, no one will be able to say where it comes from”
The President of Azerbaijan also touched upon the fighting that took place on the border between Azerbaijan and Armenia on September 13-14.
“During another provocation against us on September 13, the Azerbaijani army responded and rebuffed the enemy again. I hope that this will finally serve as a lesson to them. No one’s call, no statement, no initiative will stop us. We are on our land and we protect it.
The positions we have taken along the border allow us to anticipate any Armenian provocation and take appropriate measures. We occupy favorable positions on the Azerbaijani-Armenian border from Mount Murovdag up to the Araz River. These positions give us both a military advantage and opportunities for visual control over a vast area, including important communication lines, and we are already deployed in these regions. For thirty years we have not been on these borders.
After the end of the second Karabakh war, we reached the borders. If Armenia is trying to accuse us of having invaded its territory, then this is without any grounds. First, if the border was where they say, then they would lay the border, create border lines, communications, and carry out engineering work. They believed that the whole of Karabakh and Zangezur would remain with them. That is why they did not do any work on the Azerbaijani-Armenian border.
That is, without carrying out the delimitation of our border, no one will be able to say where it comes from. I want to say again that we are ready for discussions and take a responsible approach to the work of the delimitation commissions – the Azerbaijani-Armenian commissions. I want to say again that we have all the maps, including those from the 19th and 20th centuries, these maps openly show who is on what land. Therefore without a delimitation, no one can accuse us.”
Ilham Aliyevon on the September 13-14 hostilities