Baku / 22.09.20 / Turan: On September 19, President Ilham Aliyev, in an interview with local TV channels, made a number of important statements about the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, indicating the growing threat of war and the futility of negotiations with Armenia.
The main theses of Aliyev’s speech are as follows:
1) Azerbaijan can transfer military operations to the territory of Armenia if a serious provocation is committed against Azerbaijan.
“It’s not a secret for anyone that the July provocation was launched by Armenia, and this was acknowledged by a high-ranking representative of one of the Minsk Group co-chairing countries (meaning Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov – ed.)
We have no military targets on the territory of Armenia. If we wanted to, we could go to the territory of Armenia, and we had all the military capabilities for this. But we did not do this, because this is not in our military-political concept, unless a serious provocation is committed against us. If it is done, then there will be no restrictions for us, let everyone know this. There will be no restrictions. If they ignore international law, then why should we observe it, we will also ignore it, but it will all end badly for them,” Aliyev said.
2) Azerbaijan will return control over Nagorno-Karabakh.
“We will definitely return to our lands. Nagorno-Karabakh is our ancient historical land, and we will definitely return to these lands. We will restore all destroyed historical monuments and houses. We will give the streets Azerbaijani names and return the renamed villages to their real names. We will definitely do this is because the truth is on our side.
We will never allow the creation of a second Armenian state. Karabakh is ours, Karabakh is Azerbaijan!” Aliyev noted.
3) The Armenian authorities have lost their sense of reality and are trying to make territorial claims against Turkey as well.
“Armenia has put forward territorial claims against Turkey. This is reflected and enshrined in their constitution. Today Armenia is trying to” revive “the Treaty of Sevres.”
How can a small country living in poverty, which has built a state not on its own lands, put forward claims against a country like Turkey? Let them look at their potential and Turkey’s potential at least.”
4) Armenia will face hard times if it does not change its policy.
“Armenia is an aggressor state. Once again I want to warn them that if they don’t give up their dirty plans, the consequences for them will be very grave.
They are preparing for a new war. There is a concentration of their forces near the line of contact. We see everything and track everything. Of course, we will defend ourselves. If they want to learn a new lesson, then we are ready for this,” he said.
5) Negotiations on a settlement have lost their meaning.
“The absurd thoughts of the Armenian Prime Minister dealt a serious blow to the negotiation process. By declaring that “Karabakh is Armenia”, he made the negotiation process meaningless.
We will never agree to change the format of negotiations, and we will not conduct them with the puppet regime in Karabakh. Armenia actually withdrew from the negotiations.
Armenia is carrying out illegal settlement in Nagorno-Karabakh and is doing it demonstratively. This is a violation of the Geneva Convention.
In the city of Shusha, the inauguration ceremony of the so-called “leader” of the notorious regime is being held. This is another provocation. This is a frank insult to us. Do they think we will tolerate it?” Aliyev said.
“Unfortunately, the current leadership of Armenia does not realize this responsibility. They are not able to correctly analyze what these steps might lead to.
Two years ago, when a coup d’etat took place in Armenia, Azerbaijan remained neutral to this. That is, we did not think to take advantage of the situation, especially considering that the new government, having come to power, began to make very encouraging statements that they want to resolve this issue, criticized the previous government, sent us positive signals through unofficial channels, and asked for time.
After my meeting with the Prime Minister of Armenia in Dushanbe, hopes for a peaceful solution were strengthened. At that time I was asked to give them time; they said that the internal situation in Armenia was difficult, and they asked to strengthen the ceasefire.
For some time, the Minsk Group co-chairs also lived with hopes. However, the absurd thoughts of the Armenian Prime Minister that “Karabakh is Armenia” made the negotiation process meaningless, Ilham Aliyev stressed.