TODAY.AZ / Politics

Ilham Aliyev addresses recent clashes on frontline in interview to Rossiya-1 TV

30 September 2020 [13:12] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews

By Akbar Mammadov

President Ilham Aliyev has said that Azerbaijan is able to stand up for itself in face of Armenia’s ongoing aggression against the country.

President Ilham Aliyev made this remark during an interview with the Rossiya-1 TV channel broadcast the “60 minutes” program dedicated to the latest events on the Azerbaijani-Armenian line of contact on September 29.

During the program, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan responded to questions from the hosts on the program.

Commenting on the question on whether there are fighters from Syria on the front right now, Aliyev said:

No! This is more fake news. There are no fighters from Syria. There is no evidence, no proof. This has been introduced by Armenian propaganda and circulates through different websites and different media. There is no need for this.”

The president stressed that Azerbaijan has a trained army and a very large mobilization reserve.

“Just yesterday, I announced partial mobilization, we are calling tens of thousands of reservists under arms, and with a population of 10 million versus 2 million in Armenia, we have no need for human resources. Therefore, we are able to stand up for ourselves and punish the aggressor so that he doesn’t venture even to look in our direction.”

Aliyev said that the situation at the front is tense. He noted that as a result of the Armenian military provocation, which began on the morning of 27 September, Azerbaijani settlements and the Azerbaijani combat positions were subjected to massive artillery fire.

“As a result of this aggression, 11 Azerbaijani civilians, including two children, were killed. There are also casualties among the military. We were forced to give an adequate response to the aggressor and thus protect our people and our land,” he added.

Aliyev pointed out that fierce battles have been going on for three days now, as a result of which the Azerbaijani Army has liberated a number of settlements from occupation and also seized strategic heights in different directions. He said that today the situation is such that active hostilities are underway.

The president also answered the question about the role of Turkey.

“I believe that Turkey is playing a stabilizing role in the region. Turkey is our brotherly country and our ally. From the very first hour, the world community learned that Armenia attacked Azerbaijan, Turkey spoke out unequivocally at the level of the head of state and other leaders in support of Azerbaijan, in support of international law.”

Stressing that Armenia has grossly violated international law by occupying the territory of Azerbaijan for about 30 years, Aliyev underlined that so the role of Turkey consists in that, nothing else.

“Turkey provides us with moral support, and we are grateful to the Turkish leadership, the President and the Turkish people for their solidarity and support. Turkey does not participate in this conflict in any other capacity. All the rumours that Turkey is participating as a party to the conflict being circulated by the Armenian side are of provocative nature. As they say now, this is fake news.”

Aliyev also highlighted that there is no evidence of Turkey's involvement in the conflict and neither is that necessary.

“The Azerbaijani Army is sufficiently prepared to protect its people and territory,” he stressed.

Furthermore, Aliyev also commented on the question regarding downing a plane of the Armenian Air Force.

He stressed that Azerbaijan does not have this information.

Just recently, I was informed that such news appeared in the information space. It is not confirmed by anything. The F-16 aircraft of the Turkish Air Force do not participate in hostilities in any way. You know, taking into account modern technologies, it is very difficult to conceal anything today because there are objective forms of observation,” he said.

Aliyev emphasized that there are satellite observations, and therefore it is very easy to verify that this is another provocation.

“We understand the goal of the Armenian side – by creating such false news, they first want to belittle the combat capability of the Azerbaijani Army, which is now fulfilling the task of restoring its territorial integrity with dignity, and also to create the impression that the conflict is growing, that third countries are joining it. They are trying to attract as many countries as possible in order to justify their provocation.”

Aliyev stressed that Turkey is not a party to the conflict, does not participate in it in any way, and there is no need for this.

The president further spoke about the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

He noted that Azerbaijan has always shown constructiveness on the negotiation track and the co-chairs of the Minsk Group, who are responsible for the mediation mission, can confirm this.

“In particular, over the past two years, we have repeatedly stated, both myself and other officials, that we are committed to the principles of settlement that have been developed over the years and which the Minsk Group and its co-chairs consider the basis for the negotiating process. Moreover, we have stated repeatedly in the past two years and before that, we are committed to the format of the negotiations.”

Aliyev stressed that negotiations are underway between Armenia and Azerbaijan and there are only two sides to the conflict.

He pointed out that sometimes when talking about the conflict, there is a mention of all sides and emphasized that this is an incorrect definition.

“Not all sides. There are only two sides – Armenia and Azerbaijan.”

“But what has been happening in recent years, after the Soros coup which was carried out by the current government in Armenia? The Armenian prime minister publicly declares that Karabakh is Armenia, full stop. In this case, what kind of negotiations can we talk about?”

The president added that after all, the essence of the principles developed by the OSCE Minsk Group is that the territories around the former Nagorno-Karabakh autonomous region should be transferred to Azerbaijan.

“And if he says that Karabakh is Armenia and, in addition, that we have to negotiate with the so-called puppet regime of Nagorno-Karabakh, thereby trying to undermine the format of negotiations which has already existed for 20 years, it means that Armenia deliberately disrupts the negotiations and puts forward unacceptable demands.”

Aliyev recalled that when the Minsk Group recently began to speak more actively about who is still an obstacle to the settlement, Armenia resorted to provocations like the one on 27 September.

“Before that, on 12 July, our positions at the state border were attacked. After that, on 23 August, when an Armenian sabotage group was captured, its leader was captured on the line of contact. Everything is being done to disrupt the negotiations, then accuse Azerbaijan, then involve third parties and thereby disrupt the negotiations,” he said.

The president stressed that Armenia wants to maintain the status quo.

“The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group represented by the presidents of Russia, France and the United States have repeatedly made statements that the status quo is unacceptable. And this means that the territories under occupation must be returned to Azerbaijan. We are committed to negotiations, but we see completely opposite actions from the Armenian side,” the president noted.

Regarding the reason for the large-scale confrontation in the front, the president stressed that Armenia had been moving towards this for several months.

“If you trace the chronology of their actions and statements, you will clearly see that they deliberately went for this provocation. Not so long ago, speaking at the UN General Assembly, I openly said that Armenia was preparing for war and it must be stopped. In July, they launched an armed attack on our settlements at the state border. This is far from the conflict zone. One civilian and several servicemen were killed then. The clashes lasted four days, and since we did not have and do not have any military targets on the territory of Armenia, as soon as the Armenian armed forces were driven back from our territory, the fire was ceased by mutual agreement.”

Moreover, Aliyev reminded that a sabotage group infiltrated the Azerbaijani territory and was neutralized. He added that then Armenia publicly and defiantly announced the resettlement of Armenians from Lebanon to the occupied territories and to the ancient Azerbaijani city of Shusha, which is a war crime.

He stressed that this is a violation of the Geneva Convention and is done demonstratively.

“Prior to that, they held the so-called swearing-in ceremony for the so-called leader of the criminal Nagorno-Karabakh regime in Shusha, an ancient pearl of Azerbaijani culture. All these are deliberate provocations against us, attempts to drag us into conflict and provoke retaliatory actions. We showed restraint, constructiveness and common sense, but when they failed, they made this attempt,“ Aliyev said.

Moreover, the president highlighted that another reason is the internal political crisis that exists in Armenia.

“After all, there is a Soros regime in Armenia today. The coup that failed in Belarus was successful in Yerevan two years ago. Today the Armenian leader in the person of Pashinyan is Soros' henchman, a man who made a lot of promises and who cannot fulfil them, and the country is in crisis,” he stressed.

Aliyev noted that Pashinyan needed an external factor, some kind of a mess, so to speak, in order to divert the attention of the population, which he succeeded in doing.

“Moreover, literally two days before they attacked us, the leader of the main opposition party in Armenia was arrested again. So, the dictatorial and despotic regime of Pashinyan eliminated the entire opposition in his country and is now demonstrating aggression against the Azerbaijani people again,” the president added.

It should be noted that after the president’s remarks on the questions asked by the host, Igor Korotchenko, Editor-in-Chief of the “Natsionalnaya oborona” magazine said that undoubtedly, it was an absolutely clear, logical, precise and consistent speech by Ilham Aliyev.

Korotchenko stressed that President Ilham Aliyev is right when he said absolutely correctly that with the current level of development of intelligence technologies – satellite, electronic, undercover – it is impossible to conceal the fact that if Turkish fighters were really deployed to the territory of Azerbaijan, this would be exposed quite easily by any country that has satellite intelligence.

“We are all adherents of international law,” he added.

Korotchenko also pointed out that from the point of view of the norms of international law, military action today is taking place on the territory of Azerbaijan, between the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan and Armenian military formations.


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