President Ilham Aliyev interviewed by Azerbaijani TV channels in Munich
Following a plenary session on “Moving Mountains? Building Security in the South Caucasus” in Munich, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has been interviewed by the Azerbaijani TV channels.
News.Az presents the interview.
- Mr. President, Real Television will have a question, if we may. The security of the South Caucasus has been discussed, i.e. you were also here in 2020, and considering what happened during these two to three years, you have actually put forward a map of the South Caucasus in terms of security.
- Of course, the situation in our region has completely changed after the second Karabakh war. New realities have emerged, and of course, we must be ready for strengthening our position in these new realities. Today's panel discussion once again showed that some people do not want to come to terms with these realities, but they will have to do that. Because we are living in a real world and the processes taking place in our region certainly require new approaches.
I am glad that the Munich Security Conference as a reputable international forum pays a special attention to this issue. You might have seen that the number of participants was quite large and the interest was quite strong. If this discussion lasted a couple of hours more, no one would have left the meeting.
As for Azerbaijan's position, our position is unequivocal and clear. I have expressed it in closed-door meetings and in my official statements. Today, at the event initiated by Secretary of State Blinken, I stated that we are supporters of justice. We have never allowed outside forces to interfere in our internal affairs and we will never allow it. Karabakh is Azerbaijan! I said this before the war. Today, not only me but also the whole world is saying and seeing this.
As for the normalization of Armenian-Azerbaijani relations, our position here is completely logical. We want this normalization to happen as soon as possible and the period of enmity to be left in the past. If the Armenian side finds the determination and strength in itself, I am sure that it will be possible to achieve this in the near future.
- Thank you. The Armenian prime minister has voiced non-objective opinions again. In other words, in the second meeting too, so to speak, he is still toeing his line. What do they want?
- I don't know, you can explain this better. Of course, I know that many of you were expecting something about the “Caucasian bureau”, but fortunately it didn’t happen this time. And yet, from the point of view of sincerity, I think that a more complete picture could have been created.
Because you know that it is impossible to conceal the truth or distort the reality today. We live in the information age. Everyone knows what is happening where. Therefore, frivolous and manipulative statements are certainly not taken seriously. Our position is clear. First of all, what we say is based on the reality. Secondly, we are making our position clear. International partners are also aware of what we want.
We want the Karabakh issue to be removed from the international agenda. We cannot allow the Karabakh issue to be included in the agreement to be signed between Azerbaijan and Armenia in any form. I also stated this at the meeting held with the participation of Mr. Blinken today. We want our borders to be delimited based on historical maps. This also has a historical logic. We want Armenia to give up its territorial claims against us and normalization to happen.
What does Armenia want? We cannot understand that. Sometimes they say that they will not comment on the events taking place on the Lachin-Khankendi road and that this matter is not related to them. Sometimes they say that they want to deal with the “Nagorno-Karabakh problem”. Therefore, they should define it for themselves, articulate it correctly and convey their position to foreign partners, if there is such a position.
- Mr. President, we would like to ask one more question. Was any opinion voiced regarding France's biased position during the meeting with the representatives of the European Union? We would like to hear about that.
- It might not be right for me to say something about this. But, of course, this issue was on the agenda of all meetings. I think that the fair position of Azerbaijan is accepted with understanding.
- Mr. President, I am sorry, I will ask one more question. Energy security panels are being held here. In general, what is your take on that? The initiatives Azerbaijan has made recently in relation to energy security, the contracts signed in Bulgaria and Romania, and with the European Union, i.e. Azerbaijan is actually acting as the driving force here. Again, we would like to hear from you about this.
- This is natural. It is probably already true and there is no need for further comments. Both within the framework of the Davos Forum and here, energy security issues are at the forefront of the agenda. Of course, Azerbaijan is highly respected here as the owner of a new source and as a country that has done a lot for European energy security. I can say that our contribution to European energy security is acknowledged in many meetings and words of gratitude are spoken to me.
Both Europe and Azerbaijan can only benefit here. In fact, we are already doing that. It is beyond doubt that the more successful our energy diplomacy, the better our country's interests will be provided.
Journalists: Thank you very much.