Ilham Aliyev: If not for President Putin’s intervention and efforts, today probably the situation would be different
- 12 December 2020
"There have been statements of the presidents of the Minsk Group co-chair countries, I think, some ten years ago. And we supported those statements. It created certain hopes. They were saying in the joint declaration, 'status quo is unacceptable.' We said yes, good statement, let’s work on that. Now tell it to Armenia," said Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev at the meeting with OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs Stephane Visconti of France, Andrew Schofer of the US, Ambassador of Russia to Azerbaijan Mikhail Bocharnikov and Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Andrzej Kasprzyk on December 12, APA reports.
"How many times I was telling you, your predecessors, go and tell Armenia to leave, put pressure on them. How many times I was telling high-ranking officials from your countries, go put pressure on them until it is not too late. But what happened? After certain time leaders of your countries changed this wording. They no longer said status quo is unacceptable. They were saying status quo is not sustainable. That means that for them status quo was acceptable. What other explanation can we have? When they were saying in L`Aquila and in Muskoka the status quo is unacceptable, and then they say the status quo is unsustainable. Obviously, it means that they think the status quo is acceptable.
Many politicians thought that the only way how to preserve peace is to keep status quo and we changed it. And we showed that the status quo can be changed by force, by courage, by wisdom, by policy, by concentration of efforts, by solidarity of Azerbaijani people, by the will of the Azerbaijani government and the spirit of Azerbaijani people and bravery of Azerbaijani soldier. We showed that we were right. And then, of course, Armenia was forced to sign the capitulation act. They would have never signed it voluntarily. We forced them, not Minsk Group, we, and President Putin. This is a reality. And if not for President Putin’s intervention and efforts, today probably the situation would be different. But we achieved what we planned. We returned all the seven occupied territories. We returned ancient Azerbaijani city of Shusha, we returned Hadrut district, we returned part of Khojavand, we returned Sugovushan, and others, and actually achieved what we planned. Now, when Russian peacekeepers are there and started the activity the situation is more or less stable. Though, I just got information yesterday about some terrorist acts either by Armenian Guerilla forces or by remainings of what they called Armenian army. This, of course, is of concern, I think the last thing which Armenia should do is to start again. Two days ago on the military parade, which was devoted to our glorious victory, I said that if Armenian fascism raises its head once again, we will smash it with the iron fist. So, the last thing for them is to plan some military actions. We will destroy them completely this time. It should not be a secret for anyone. But I hope that it will not happen. So, peacekeeping mission, is enforced. You know that peacekeeping operations were part of the agreement which was discussed, part of the Madrid principles, but we never seriously discussed it, Andrzej knows as a veteran. We even never touched on that. We had some general exchange of views what could be the composition of the peacekeepers, which countries it may represent, should they be neighbors, should they be co-chairs. There were different opinions. And I personally never elaborated on that. Because I said that it’s premature, we need to resolve the issue and then. And we never objected peacekeepers. We said yes, peacekeepers, they should come, and certain time protect the civilians, Armenians and Azerbaijanis. And it happens. And now, peacekeeping operations is done by Russia and it was supported by Armenia, and by Azerbaijan. At the same time, as you know, we are now already in the phase of creation of the monitoring center in Aghdam district of Azerbaijan. The center which also was reflected in the declaration, which we signed on the 10th of November. The Turkish-Russian monitoring center, will monitor the ceasefire regime. And this, I think, is also a very good sign of regional cooperation, also, a good sign of cooperation between Turkey and Russia. And this already is a reality."