"It is difficult to talk about this because our people have experienced so much grief, so much suffering has been inflicted on them by Armenian occupiers that it is very difficult to imagine this moment now as a holistic picture. We have not had peace for over 30 years," said President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev in his interview to the Russian “Perviy Kanal” television, APA reports.
"What we had over the past more than two decades has been a truce. But everyone understood that it was unstable, it was not durable. Therefore, the co-chairs of the Minsk Group represented by the presidents of Russia, the United States and France made statements several years ago, there was more than one statement of this kind, that the status quo is unacceptable and that it must be changed. They perfectly understood and understand that this truce is very fragile and unstable. Today's escalation confirms this once again. Therefore, if we talk about peace, first of all, I see it as a political settlement that would be comprehensive, that would be long-term, that would be eternal with serious guarantees from leading countries of the world, countries that would be acceptable to both Azerbaijan and Armenia. I do not exclude that the composition of these countries may be different from the composition of the Minsk Group and its co-chairs today. Because the Minsk Group was set up in 1992, in completely different geopolitical realities, just after the collapse of the USSR and, to be honest, I don't quite understand the basis on which this group was established. Because there must be some principle on which this or that association or temporary format is created. Therefore, I think that, returning to what we talked about earlier, the active participation of regional powers, guarantees of international organizations and, of course, the return of Azerbaijanis to the lands that rightfully belong to them.
It is probably premature to talk about it. I think I am slightly jumping the gun already. I just want our neighbors and partners to know my position. I think that regional cooperation has already proved its worth in many areas. If we pay attention to recent years, we can see that Azerbaijan, together with its neighbors, has worked very hard to create a strong regional cooperation format – political, economic, transport, energy and any other. Suffice it to look at the achievements we have made after many years by signing the Convention on the Settlement of the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea. Almost from the very beginning of their independence, some of the five Caspian littoral countries could not agree but then, showing good will, we came to agreement and saw the advantages. Today, cooperation between such a great power as Russia and such a great power as Turkey, a NATO member, is much more sincere, durable and effective than cooperation of NATO member Turkey with, say, another NATO country that constantly accuses Turkey of something. These are new geopolitical realities. This was not the case in 1992. The world has changed. It is changing right before our eyes. And we must proceed from this, not from any dogmas, not from any assumptions or established opinions that this or that country has a potential for a solution. Today, when the conflict has entered an active phase and when the Armenian prime minister, as I can see, is annoying world leaders with his phone calls, it is clear who has the potential for settlement. These are the countries that have the potential for a settlement, the countries Azerbaijan respects for dignity, justice and sincerity. They should be the guarantors of long-term peace," said President Aliyev