Azerbaijan wants to resolve the Karabakh conflict by peaceful means, but the key word is ‘’resolve’'
On Sunday the Armenian Armed Forces violated the ceasefire in three directions – Fizuli, Terter and Aghdam. Clashes took place on Sunday in these directions. All cross-border positions of Azerbaijan were heavily fired at from large-caliber weapons, mortars, rocket-propelled grenades and guns on Saturday night. Then several villages near the frontline, which is densely populated by civilians, was also shelled.
At the meeting of the Security Council, the President of Azerbaijan described the situation as an armed provocation by Armenia. Personnel of the Azerbaijani Army managed not only to stop the provocation, but even to seize more favorable military positions. The advantage of Azerbaijan on the contact line has been further strengthened. Speaking about the reasons for such actions of Armenia, Ilham Aliyev recalled: "I have repeatedly expressed my thoughts on this subject and the Azerbaijani public, intermediaries involved in these issues, intermediary countries that deal with such matters, that Armenia doesn’t want peace. Armenia doesn’t want to leave the occupied lands. Its efforts are directed at maximizing and maintaining the status quo.’’
Indeed, the negotiating process has been going on for more than twenty years. During these years Armenia resorted to provocations at some decisive moments, creating tensions on the contact line. According to President Aliyev, the terrorist act at the end of the last century in the Armenian Parliament also pursued this goal – to prevent the achievement of a possible agreement in connection with the conflict and thus to preserve the status quo.
In 2014 French President Francois Hollande organized a meeting of the Armenian and Azerbaijani Presidents in Paris. It was held in a constructive atmosphere and the results gave rise to hope, as safety on the line of contact and strengthening of confidence-building measures were discussed. But less than two weeks after the meeting Armenia began to carry out military exercises with the participation of 47,000 personnel and military helicopters in the occupied territories, the territory of the Aghdam region. The Azerbaijani army destroyed one of the helicopters. "Armenia’s goal was to announce that Azerbaijan violates the ceasefire and behaves aggressively there," the President of Azerbaijan said. According to him, the source of today's provocations is the same. Soldiers, officers were killed after the attack on Azerbaijani positions. "We didn’t violate the ceasefire. We just gave an appropriate repulse to provocations. As long as Armenia doesn’t renounce these provocative actions, the Azerbaijani army will continue to punish them,’’ Ilham Aliyev promised.
He also noted that in recent years mediators in the organization of the OSCE Minsk Group, the co-chairmen, the heads of state, began to exert effective efforts to resolve the conflict: "Recently, the President and Foreign Minister of Russia, together with other co-chairs, introduced some proposals. We are welcoming them. During the meeting, they expressed official statements and their views on the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. The territorial integrity of Azerbaijan was significantly supported. The American party is interested in the speediest settlement of the conflict. I know that the leaders of Armenia have also given certain signals and sent messages.
According to the Azerbaijani leader, now, "corrupt media, politicians, political analysts and commentators who are under Armenia’s influence have lined up to blame Azerbaijan. If you pay attention to the media in some countries now, you can see it is one-sided information. Azerbaijan is accused of spreading distorted information about the fighting... The Armenian side uses every opportunity – diaspora organizations, their agents in different countries and corrupt politicians – to shift the blame on Azerbaijan.
Accusing Armenia of violating all international norms, Ilham Aliyev said: "It ignores the resolutions of the UN Security Council and doesn’t consider the decisions and resolutions of other organizations. Buildings, historical and religious monuments were barbarously destroyed on the occupied lands. The OSCE visited the territory twice to investigate facts on the occupied lands. Our mosques, graves, monuments, buildings and museums have been destroyed. All valuables were plundered. This is unheard of barbarism."
According to the President of Azerbaijan, Armenia's ruling criminal dictatorship regime is leading the country into the abyss. The demographic situation in Armenia has reached a critical level, the economy is destroyed, all freedoms are violated. ‘‘Can we speak about any kinds of normal relations if you occupied 20% of the lands of a neighboring country, committed genocide in the 21st century, and then the people affected by the genocide in violation of the ceasefire are to blame?" President Aliyev asked rhetorically.
He assured that Azerbaijan wants to resolve the issue peacefully, but the key word is ‘’resolve’’: "We do not intend to continue to participate in an endless process just for show." As for the Armenian population who live in Nagorno-Karabakh, after the resolution of the conflict they may live in peace in Azerbaijan as citizens of the multi-ethnic, multi-religious country of Azerbaijan, which has become a space of multiculturalism and tolerance in the region.