"Various experts in the region have been expressing their views on the inevitability of war for several years. At the same time, among the orders addressed to us over the years, the main thesis was that there is no military solution to the conflict. Someone has brought this up. I know approximately who this was. All other organizations – those dealing with this issue and those not, those engaged in regional affairs and those not – all of them were saying in unison that there was no military solution to the conflict," said Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in his address to the nation on the occasion of the Day of Solidarity of World Azerbaijanis and New Year, APA reports.
"I have been on official visits to many countries in recent years – of course, both to countries of the region and others. All these visits have been covered. In many cases, some of my counterparts who have nothing to do with the region, with our region, were saying that there was no military solution to the conflict. How do you know? They were saying – you should say this to Ilham Aliyev, various circles were saying this. Countries and circles that play an active role in world governance were saying this in order to prevent us from taking this path, so that it never happens. Let the status quo remain in place forever and not be changed. However, it was sometimes said that the status quo was unacceptable. But then, as they say, they gave this up. They switched to the phrase that the status quo was not sustainable. Which means that it is acceptable. However, it was not acceptable for us. We confronted Armenia, its supporters, its patrons and pro-Armenian forces on our own. Alone! No-one managed to force us to make a peace agreement that contradicted our interests. But there have been several such attempts. They have tried several times. They even tried to coax us into this by allegedly making some mistakes in document design. But it did not work. And it could not! Because there was and still is a strong resolve. The interests of the Azerbaijani people are paramount. The liberation of our lands from occupation was the most important task, and we were moving towards this task with confidence.
The situation had started to grow tense in recent years. Armenia could no longer hide its intentions. Because the talks had practically become meaningless, and not just in the last two years but over the past five to six years. Armenia regularly held military exercises in the occupied territories. Those military exercises were held in Aghdam district. According to Armenian leaders, 10,000 troops took part in the exercises. There were attacks on our positions. A helicopter gunship attacked our positions and was shot down. This gave Armenia the opportunity to cite this as an excuse and say that Azerbaijan had shot down our helicopter, so now the talks must be stopped. Whenever there was an opportunity to make some headway, they resorted to such provocations.
The April war was not a lesson for Armenia. The April battles, which lasted several days, resulted in our victory, albeit a small one. Armenia was forced to sit back. We liberated a part of our lands from the occupiers and showed that no-one and nothing can turn us away from our path. But this was not a lesson for them. After the April war, the then leadership of Armenia practically promised to withdraw from the occupied territories. This is true. But then they either organized this themselves or something like that really happened – a police unit was seized, a terrorist group committed an act of terror there, and then the Armenian leadership said that, as you can see, the situation here is quite tense and we can't do that. They deceived us. In 2018, the Gunnut operation, the Nakhchivan operation was another success. We took over a large area, liberated it from occupation and seized strategic heights. This was not a lesson for them either. In other words, we were giving them a chance. In 2018, some call it a revolution, others call it a coup, they know better – a change took place in Armenia. Hopes were awakened, and those hopes were not unfounded. I don't want to go into the nitty-gritty of that. We were hopeful that the new leadership would get rid of past mistakes and that this issue would be resolved. But this did not happen. Almost a year later, unacceptable steps were taken against us and we were actually deceived. They took time to resolve their internal problems, to quell the internal opposition, to arrest it. The Azerbaijani people know perfectly well what happened after that. Unacceptable statements, insults of the Azerbaijani people, inappropriate actions, disgraceful steps, statements and provocative military operations – in July, August and finally on 27 September. And I said enough is enough, forward! Within 44 days, the enemy army was destroyed. There is no Armenian army today," said President Ilham Aliyev.