"Peace will change the situation in region completely. And I hope to see the time when the three countries of the Southern Caucasus will have cooperation,” said President Ilham Aliyev in his interview with Japanese Nikkei newspaper, APA reports.
“Now for instance, level of cooperation between Azerbaijan and Georgia is very high. We are strategic partners, and with current Georgian government we have excellent relations. We support each other and we are good neighbors and good friends. And we implemented look, how many projects together. Oil transportation, gas transportation, energy transportation, railroad connection, Baku-Tbilisi-Kars, Baku-Tbilisi-Jeyhan, Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum, TANAP and many others. Azerbaijan is, I think, first to second largest investor in Georgia along with Turkey. First to second largest taxpayer and by the way, in the middle of 90s the issue of construction of pipeline was discussed. There were some proposals from the West to have these pipelines through Armenia. But Armenia should have then liberate the territories and then, the pipeline could have gone from Azerbaijan to Armenia and then to Nakhchivan and to Turkey. And that was a shortest route. If you look at the map you will see how the pipeline goes. It is because to bypass Armenia. But Armenians thought that we will not be able to implement this pipeline. Therefore, they said no, and I think now they seriously regret. They became deadlocked because of occupation. They thought that we will not be able to build pipelines, they thought we will not be able to build railroads, they were always advocating for how to say functioning of the Kars-Gumru railroad which existed. But it was closed because our brotherly country Turkey closed the border because of Armenian occupation. So, now Armenia is not landlocked but they don’t have border with Turkey, because of aggression against Azerbaijan, and because of territorial claims against Turkey. Maybe you don’t know, but in their constitution they have territorial claims against Turkey. One must be crazy now to have claims to such a powerful country as Turkey. But that’s substance of their ideology,” the head of state said.
“During the time of negotiations, there have been messages sent to previous Armenian government that if they put an end to occupation, Azerbaijan can implement different social and economic projects in Nagorno-Karabakh. These messages were sent through the Minsk-group co-chairs to former Armenian president and they rejected. Today in Nagorno-Karabakh people live in poverty, you know total unemployment, poverty and destroyed infrastructure. We were ready to invest, but we said liberate the territories and we will help you. Today when we liberate the territories, ourselves, definitely will help those people those Armenians who live in Nagorno-Karabakh and of course Azerbaijanis who will return to rebuild this area. But if Armenia makes the constructive steps and liberate the territories of course, we will open all the communications. I know that, I heard about the position of the Turkish government that they will also open communications if Armenia liberates the territories. Then the situation in the southern Caucasus will completely change,” the head of state said.