Azerbaijan is confident and hopes that Italy, as an OSCE chair country, will play an active role in the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, said Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.
He made the remarks at a briefing with his Italian counterpart Sergio Mattarella in Baku on Wednesday, APA reports.
“I informed the Italian president about the conflict and expressed Azerbaijan’s position on the current state of the negotiations,” Ilham Aliyev said. “We want this conflict to be resolved soon on the basis of norms and principles of international law within the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.”
President Ilham Aliyev noted that Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent districts, recognized by the international community as historical lands of Azerbaijan, have been under occupation of Armenia for many years.
“As a result of this occupation and the ethnic cleansing policy, 20 percent of our lands are under occupation, and more than one million Azerbaijanis live as IDPs, refugees,” he said. “War crimes were committed against our people. Our historical and religious monuments were destroyed in the occupied lands. The OSCE sent fact-finding missions to the occupied territories twice, and the reports of these missions indicate that all historical monuments and infrastructure facilities were destroyed by Armenia.”
“The UN Security Council adopted four resolutions 25 years ago,” Ilham Aliyev said. “These resolutions state that the Armenian armed forces must immediately and unconditionally withdraw from the occupied territories. These resolutions are in force and the implementation of these resolutions must be ensured. Unfortunately, Armenia doesn’t recognize these resolutions for many years, continues its aggressive policy and wants to maintain the status quo. The OSCE Minsk Group co-chair countries directly dealing with this issue repeatedly stated at the level of presidents that the status quo is unacceptable and must be changed. We support this position, and we believe that soon steps must be taken to resolve the conflict, and the occupation forces of Armenia must be withdrawn from our historical lands.”
The head of state noted that the Partnership Priorities initialed by the EU and Azerbaijan a week ago reaffirmed EU’s support for Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and inviolability of borders.
“A day later, the declaration adopted at the NATO summit also expressed support for Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. That is, it’s not secret for anyone that Armenia illegally occupied our historical lands and must withdraw its troops from these territories. Only after that peace can be restored in the region, and comprehensive cooperation can be possible in the South Caucasus,” the president added.