Hikmat Hajiyev: Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict threatens regional security
- 12 June 2019
“The Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict threatens regional peace and security,” said Hikmat Hajiyev, the head of the Foreign Affairs Department at the Presidential Administration of Azerbaijan, at the Atlantic Council, APA reports.
He stated that achieving full cooperation in the region is impossible due to this conflict: “Armenia, as well as Azerbaijan, suffers from this. The two nations suffer from ongoing conflict continued for more than 25 years. Imagine that in Europe, in the 21st century, we witness the scenario of the First World War. Trenchs and the hundreds of thousands of armed soldiers stand in these trenches look at one another. This could lead to the escalation of the situation at any moment. We always ask our Armenian counterparts what they have achieved as a result of this conflict? My answer is simple: nothing. Let's review the real facts in the area. As a result of this conflict, Armenia has become an isolated country and faces great demographic challenges. In the Soviet period, 80% of Armenia's foreign transport lines passed through Azerbaijan. We can continue to play this role again. About 50 percent of foreign trade of each normal country is related to neighboring countries. But Armenia has no cooperation with Turkey and Azerbaijan. The poverty rate in Armenia is 40 percent."
Hikmat Hajiyev has also talked about the ways to get out of this difficult situation. “There is an Armenian community in Nagorno Karabakh. They have the right to live in Nagorno Karabakh. You can not violate the rights of Azerbaijan community by giving the special right to the Armenian community. The answer is that two communities have to live together peacefully, as a result, we will get a regional cooperation opportunity in a broad sense. The soldiers should be withdrawn from barracks. We can not talk about peace in case of If the guns are face-to-face in the barracks. Alongside Nagorno Karabakh, there are 7 surrounding districts. These regions are four times bigger than Nagorno-Karabakh. About 700 thousand Azerbaijanis have been forced to leave these territories. They have the right to return to their home. The conflict is very difficult. We can not solve everything with one packet. Fundamental approaches have been reflected in Madrid principles. Of course, we do not agree completely. But both sides have to compromise and we also compromise in our turn. It is highlighted in Madrid principles that Armenian troops should be withdrawn from Outside regions of Nagorno Karabakh. This can be 5v regions or 2+3 regions. There are several options here. Further, refugees and internally displaced people are returning back to their homelands. Achieving success in the first stage create opportunities for success in the second stage. Thus, we can show step by step approach in the resolution of the conflict. Armenians always claim that they have concerns regarding the security of the Armenian community of Nagorno Karabakh. This is normal, but let’s sits like normal people and discuss demilitarization elements.
Hikmat Hajiyev has added that everyone, including Armenia, knows how to solve the conflict: “OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs fulfill their responsibilities. However, expectations are always high. All 3 countries are permanent members of Un Security Council. They are responsible for international peace and security. There are expectations to involve them more actively to the process. Co-chairs have recently been in Azerbaijan. We held broad negotiations. Currently, there are preparations for the meeting of foreign ministers. Generally, we support substantively intensive negotiations. We highly the endeavors of OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs, but expect them to intensify their efforts by two times. Initially, Armenia and Azerbaijan can achieve peace. President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev had demonstrated constructive attitude last year in Dushanbe. There were direct negotiations with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. This has happened without the interference of anyone, including co-chairs. They have agreed on several issues, including strengthening the ceasefire regime. We believe that direct talks between Baku and Yerevan can yield some results. However, we appreciate the role of the international community and Minks Group co-chairs.