Today, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Ali gave an interview to several local TV channels in Baku and made a number of statements about Armenia and Karabakh. According to Interfax Azerbaijan, a number of Ali’s thoughts were singled out by CivilNet
About the meeting with “3 + 3” odometer
The second meeting in the “3 + 3” format will be more substantial in the issue of opening communications in the South Caucasus, said Azerbaijani President Ilham Ali.
The first meeting on the “3 + 3” scale took place on December 10, 2021 in Moscow at the level of Deputy Foreign Ministers. Representatives of five countries – Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia, Turkey and Iran – took part in it. The representatives of Georgia refused to participate in the meeting or were invited.
“Although the first meeting was introductory, I am sure that the second meeting will be a more substantive discussion, first of all, about the opening of communications,” Ali said in an interview with Azerbaijani TV channels. According to him, each country participating in the “3 + 3” ratio will benefit from participating in it.
«The Zangezur corridor should cover the entire Zangezur region»
“Azerbaijan plans to build power lines through the Zangezur corridor to the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic,” said Ilham Ali.
“The railway and the road will pass through this corridor. “We also plan to build power lines to Nakhichevan in the future, as we have great potential for exporting electricity,” Ali said. He did not rule out the possibility of building gas pipelines from Azerbaijan through the Zangezur corridor to Nakhichevan.
“It is planned to build a 240 MW solar power plant in Jabrayil, we can get 140 MW of electricity in Khudafer և Giz Gasal power plants, in Kelbajar և Lachin there are about 10 thousand. MW, we can get wind and energy capacities, therefore, we have planned power transmission lines, then, maybe, gas pipelines can go from there, one line can pass through Kapan, the other through Meghri. One line can cross Gharakils, they [հայերը] “It is called Sisia, so the Zangezur corridor should cover the whole Zangezur region,” Ali said.
Ali said that the Armenian side, as it is known, initially objected to this phrase [Զանգեզուրի միջանցք] և, in general, in the corridor. “Even today in the political sphere of Armenia there are opinions that this corridor is not profitable for Armenia,” Ali said.
“There are many irritating moments” in the activities of peacekeepers
The President of Azerbaijan Ilham Ali said that in general, the Russian peacekeepers in Karabakh are coping with their task, that there are fair demands on them.
“It seems to me that the activities of peacekeepers should be viewed through a broader prism, իհարկե, of course, there are many irritating moments. “At the same time, it would be unfair not to mention that they accompany our troops, the delivery and transportation of cargo to the Kelbajar-Lachin region.
Ali spoke about the high level of Azerbaijani-Russian relations, but noted that Baku has repeatedly made demands to the Russian side for “illegal visits to Azerbaijani territories under the control of peacekeepers.”
“We have more than once officially expressed dissatisfaction with the illegal visits. Our Minister of Defense has more than once sent letters to his Russian counterpart, as he expressed dissatisfaction with the head of the peacekeeping mission. Similar steps were taken by Valerie Pekres [Ֆրանսիայի նախագահի թեկնածու] during an illegal visit. We were told that they were [խաղաղապահները] They were not careful, they were not aware that Pekres came in an ordinary car, etc. I will say it as it is, it is hard to believe it. This visit was organized – because Pekres could not take with him whoever he wanted – he was accompanied by a limited number of people – the former French Foreign Minister, European Commissioner Barnier and one MP. They secretly got there, and the news from them became known only after their return. “They were probably afraid that we would be detained in the Lachin corridor,” Ali said.
He noted that if Baku had known about the “illegal visit”, Pekres and his entourage would not have left the territory of Azerbaijan. “If we had known that they were there, we would not have allowed them to return. The Lachin corridor is under our control. You were in Shushi, you saw, we can stop any car there, no one can tell us anything. “Such cases are absolutely unacceptable; they must be stopped,” Ali said.
Ali noted that according to his information, the representatives of Armenia arriving in Karabakh apply to the peacekeepers for the visits of foreigners. They are either allowed or not. In general, I can say that we know exactly what is happening [Ղարաբաղ] “At the entrance and exit,” Ali said.
He noted that the Russian peacekeepers are trying to make sure that as few people as possible leave their area of responsibility. “We see Karabakh, Khankendi [Ստեփանակերտի] թիվը The number of people arriving in other places controlled by the Russian peacekeeping forces is very different from the number of those leaving. More people are leaving. We are behind it. We see that [Ղարաբաղ] 91% of the cars entering are not inspected. However, only 46 cars are not inspected. What does it mean that the Russian peacekeepers want to make the entrance free and create certain problems at the exit? They stop the cars coming out, interrogate the drivers, because they do not want to leave. “It can not be accidental,” Ali said.
According to Ali, the Azerbaijani side has full information on the number of people and vehicles entering the peacekeepers’ area of responsibility. “We know the number of cars and people, we know how many people entered or left, according to our data, 38,000 of those who left these territories during the war returned, and 11,000 left those places forever. According to the mentioned data, currently 27 thousand people live in the control zone of Russian peacekeepers. “
Ali noted that he nevertheless positively assesses the work of peacekeepers. “There were no serious incidents, there were incidents only on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border,” he said.
“The Minsk Group should not deal with the Karabakh conflict, as it is resolved”
“It simply came to our notice then [ԵԱՀԿ Մինսկի խումբը] They should not do it, I can say, they should not deal with the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, because it is resolved. We solved this problem for them. “And I think their absence is due to that,” Ali said.
Ali said that Azerbaijan will suppress the attempts of the OSCE Minsk Group to deal with the Karabakh issue.
Ali stressed that the Minsk Group must accept this reality, know that they will not deal with the Karabakh issue anymore. “Because we will not allow it, we have been a party to this conflict, if one of the parties says that the conflict is resolved, then there is no room for mediation, our position has been passed to them, probably they should think about what to do” ,- he said.
«If Armenia does not want to recognize the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, we will not recognize it her territorial integrity “
“For the sake of peace in the South Caucasus, Armenia must recognize the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan,” Ali said.
“We do not want a third war, it is not in our plans, we want the war period to end, we want normal relations to be established so that Armenia finally recognizes the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. “We want this, but if we see that, as I said, there is a danger for us, that threat will be eliminated on the spot,” Ali said.
According to him, racist tendencies are manifested in Armenia not only among former but also current state officials.
“Because we see that the first, as I said, military provocations were in the post-war period, such attempts were made several times, in November, earlier, yesterday, it is possible that such attempts will be made in the future,” he said. “Therefore, I repeat, one should never be deceived by the kind words of the current government, we should never forget which neighbor we live with, this is what the provocations at the border are connected with. “They want to test us again,” Ali said.
He noted that if a peace agreement is signed between the parties, it should contain clauses on mutual recognition of territorial integrity. “Armenia must make a choice now, a right choice. I said that our offer will not always be on the table. “If Armenia does not want to recognize Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity, we will not recognize their territorial integrity,” he said.
Ali stressed that Azerbaijan has more reasons not to recognize the territorial integrity of Armenia. “In November 1920, our territory, Zangezur, was annexed to Armenia, earlier, on May 29, 1918, the city of Yerevan was transferred to Armenia. So, as they say, we have many reasons for not recognizing that area. “Nevertheless, for the sake of future peace, for the sake of establishing relations between the countries, we are ready for that, but if they do not want it, then we will see what will happen,” he said.
“We offered Armenia to mutually recognize territorial integrity, start demarcation of borders, start the process of opening communications, sign a peace agreement. The signing of a peace agreement is not a 100% guarantee, but in any case it will be essential to minimize the risk of war. “But we must also know that any peace agreement can only be a piece of paper for Armenia,” Ali said.