President Ilham Aliyev: This victory will forever live in the memory of the Azerbaijani people
- 01 January 2021
"Year 2020 is being consigned to history. It will go down in history as a year of our glorious Victory. Azerbaijan defeated Armenia in 44 days and liberated its native lands from occupation. This victory will forever live in the memory of the Azerbaijani people. This is a historic victory. We have restored historical justice," 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.
"As you know, negotiations had been going on within the Minsk Group for almost 30 years. But those negotiations did not yield any results. As a matter of fact, Armenia simply wanted the talks to drag on indefinitely. There was a process of imitating the talks. When I was elected President of Azerbaijan for the first time in 2003, I stated that my main goal as President was to liberate our lands from occupation. In the early years of my presidency, there were some hopes that this issue could be resolved peacefully. Because I thought that the norms and principles of international law provided a solid foundation for that. I knew that historical justice was on our side. At the same time, the UN Security Council resolutions provided a legal basis for resolving the issue. But I saw over the years that our hopes were diminishing, and the reason for that was Armenia's activities, policies and steps. Over the years, it became obvious that Armenia was not interested in resolving this issue. Armenia simply wanted to keep our lands under occupation forever, and by participating in the talks it was simply trying to create the impression that a process of negotiations was underway and international mediators were also involved in it. As years passed, our hopes were fading away. Meanwhile, in all of my speeches at almost all international events over the past 17 years I kept saying that the solution of this issue is a priority for us. I was saying that Azerbaijan would never put up with this occupation. I was saying that Azerbaijan would never allow for a second Armenian state to be established in the historical and ancient lands of Azerbaijan. I was saying that we would never give independence to the so-called “Nagorno-Karabakh republic”. There will never be any voting there. I was saying all this, and this position became stronger and stronger over time. At the same time, I clearly saw that if we were not strong, if we did not have the power, we could not resolve this issue. Why did we lose our lands in the first Karabakh war? Because the Azerbaijani leadership at the time could not fulfill its responsibilities. The occupation of Shusha and Lachin in 1992 and of Kalbajar in April 1993 virtually established a geographical link between Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia, and subsequent occupation of other lands was inevitable. Our army was almost destroyed. There was no regular army, our brave and heroic sons were fighting like heroes but were getting killed. Our lands were lost. We had no power. Therefore, the power factor came to the fore. In today's changing world, the power factor has almost officially come to the foreground. I predicted this 10 years ago, so all opportunities were mobilized to gather strength. Power lies in the economy. If the economy is not strong, there can be no military or political power. We had to create economic independence, and we did that. For several years now, Azerbaijan has been a completely independent country from an economic point of view. We are not dependent on anyone, not dependent on any country, not dependent on any international financial institution," said President Ilham Aliyev.