Hikmat Hajiyev, the head of the International Relations Department of the Presidential Administration of Azerbaijan, answered questions of APA's Russian bureau about the results of President Ilham Aliyev's visit to Sochi.
- Mr. Hajiyev, how do you assess Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s meeting with his Russian counterpart? Which issues were discussed in the meeting of heads of states?
- There are strategic cooperation relations between Azerbaijan and the Russian Federation. The President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev paid a working visit to Sochi with the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin. As you know, a meeting was held between President Ilham Aliyev and his Russian counterpart within the framework of the visit. It was approved once again that relations between the two countries were strategic. Russia’s being Azerbaijan’s reliable friend was stressed by Azerbaijani President in the meeting. Azerbaijan also acts with Russia in the principle of this reliable friendship. Dialogue at the level of heads of states is a great factor in the comprehensive development of Azerbaijani-Russian relations. Presidents of Azerbaijan and Russia met already for the second time within this year. Before this, leaders of two countries met in the forum, held within the framework of the “One Belt One Road” project in China’s capital Pekin. However, heads of states met four times in 2018. Such meetings contribute to the comprehensive development of Azerbaijani-Russian relations.
When it comes to the issues, discussed in the meeting of Ilham Aliyev and Vladimir Putin, relations between Azerbaijan and Russia have been looked through in complex form. Successes achieved in relations have been mentioned and the following perspectives have been determined.
Cooperation issues in the trade-economy, agriculture, military and military-technical, and humanitarian fields have been looked through in the bilateral meeting. Moreover, heads of states instructed relevant ministries to continue their discussions on the basis of assignments within the framework of this platform by using the opportunity.
- Mr. Hajiyev, was the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict touched on in the meeting of heads of states?
- Certainly. Nagorno Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan was also discussed in the meeting of heads of states. As you know, Russia is one of the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group. Russia closely takes part in the resolution process of the conflict and that is why a broad exchange of views was conducted between heads of states on this platform.
Note that primarily Presidents met with delegations, and then the meeting was continued in face-to-face form. This point should especially be stressed as there are private friendship relations between President Ilham Aliyev and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. This point positively effects the relations between two countries.
-What can you say about the importance of Azerbaijani President’s attendance Valdai International discussion club?
- This platform is very important from the point of view of discussing topical issues of international relations. State and government heads, experts, representatives of business and academic fields attend this event. Valdai forum is one of the platforms where serious discussions of solving important international issues are held. The topic of the Valdai forum for this year is dedicated to the very topical and fundamental topic - “New World order. View from East”. This platform creates a very important opportunity for expressing Azerbaijan’s point on important issues on the agenda of international relations by the head of our state.
“Russia as a co-chair country has expressed its point on the level of head of MFA on the statement of Pashinyan”
-While responding to the question regarding the settlement of Nagorno Karabakh at the meeting of Valdai international discussion club Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated that Statements about Nagorno-Karabakh is Armenia do not contribute to settlement of the conflict and regulation of the political process. Pashinyan’s known statement was also perceived negatively by Russia. How would you comment on this?
- Of course, we have recorded some of Lavrov's statements regarding Pashinyan's statement a while ago. In general, it is a matter of concern to the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group and the international community. Because the Armenian leadership seriously damaged the negotiation process by this statement. Obviously, Pashinyan's statement was met with serious concern by the co-chair countries and the international community and here are analogies in the context of conflicts that are annexed with other conflicts. We consider that such statements made by Armenian leadership do not serve to the resolution of the conflict in any way and escalate the situation. Therefore, we share the view that today the negotiation process is in the framework of stagnation. Unfortunately, it is impossible to speak of any progress in the negotiation process today. The co-chairs themselves have made disclosure in this regard. Despite their appeals for substantive talks, the provocation by Armenia is still carrying out. An Azerbaijani civilian was killed on the Azerbaijani-Armenian border these days. All of these indicate that Armenia’s current statement and activities are seriously concerning the international community. Russia, as co-chair of OSCE Minsk Group, has also expressed its position on this issue at the level of foreign minister.