Ilham Aliyev's statements in Munich – transformation of words into reality

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Baku, 15 February 2021 –

The crushing victory gained by Azerbaijan in the 44-day war will undoubtedly become the subject of scrupulous studies. But it is already obvious that the main factor which determined our triumph was the unity of the people and the authorities, the consistent policy pursued by President Ilham Aliyev.

At all meetings, the head of state emphasized that Karabakh is an Azerbaijani land and demanded the withdrawal of Armenian troops from the occupied territories. The Karabakh problem was touched upon by the head of the Azerbaijani state at meetings of any scale – official and unofficial. Once again and very eloquently, the debate on the Karabakh issue arose on February 15, 2020 within the Munich Security Conference. A year has passed since that memorable discussion, which, in the opinion of observers, was crowned with the triumph of the head of the Azerbaijani state. First Vice President Mehriban Aliyeva also took part in the event. President Ilham Aliyev, refering to historical facts, brought to the attention of the participants that Karabakh is a primordially Azerbaijani land, to which Armenians were resettled at the beginning of the 20th century.

"The territorial integrity of Azerbaijan is recognized by the whole world, and Nagorno-Karabakh is an integrated part of our country," Ilham Aliyev said.

He stressed that at the end of the 1980s Armenia launched an aggression against Azerbaijan.

"300,000 Azerbaijanis were deported from the territory of Armenia. And then in the beginning of 90s Armenia already launched an aggression against Azerbaijan Republic and as a result of that aggression almost 20 percent of our territories are under occupation and one million of Azerbaijanis became refugees and IDPs. Our people were subject of ethnic cleansing and in 1992, previous Armenian regime committed a war crime, genocide of Khojaly. As a result, 613 innocent civilians among them 106 women and 63 children were brutally killed. More than ten countries recognize the Khojaly genocide," Ilham Aliyev noted.

The president also briefed the participants on the four resolutions adopted by the UN Security Council. Against the background of the well-reasoned speech of the head of the Azerbaijani state, the statements of Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan sounded frankly weak and toothless. Every now and then he was getting embarrassed, blushed and made mistakes, absurdly trying to refute the obvious facts. President Ilham Aliyev exposed the Armenian occupation policy in front of the world community, openly declaring the seizure of Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions by Armenia:

"Not only Nagorno-Karabakh but also seven districts surrounding it are occupied. Armenia wants to hide it. Seven districts where Armenians never lived. In the last Soviet Census of 1989, the population of Nagorno-Karabakh was identified as 189,000 people. Out of which 139,000 Armenians, 48 thousand Azerbaijanis and some other representatives of other people. So, all Azerbaijanis were ethnically cleansed from Nagorno-Karabakh and from our ancient city of Shusha, then all Azerbaijanis were ethnically cleansed from seven districts, they committed the genocide against our people, against our culture, they destroyed our mosques, they destroyed our graves, they changed the name of our cities. They now publish the map of Nagorno-Karabakh which consists of all the occupied territories, and then, they say that we should agree with these realities," Ilham Aliyev said.

Ilham Aliyev also caught Nikol Pashinyan on lying and distorting facts: "The question, if Nagorno-Karabakh is an ancient Armenian territory why does not it have the ancient Armenian name for the capital? Because the ancient name for the capital is Khankandi. The village of the khan. and the Stepanakert because Shaumyan’s name was Stephan, kert means city in Armenian. Stepanakert was named in the name of that Bolshevik. So that once again proves that there was no Armenian historical legacy on those territories."

Then Ilham Aliyev said what he later repeated during the 44-day Second Karabakh War: "Therefore, there is no Nagorno-Karabakh army. There is no Nagorno-Karabakh republic. Only two parties to the conflict, Armenia and Azerbaijan. Ask the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs. Who are the parties to the conflict? They will say the same. Armenia and Azerbaijan."

During the debate, it seemed like the president announced that these lands wouldn’t remain occupied forever: "They want to keep status quo unchanged. They think that they can keep these territories under occupation forever, and I am sure that will not be the case, and our territorial integrity must be restored."

In response to Nikol Pashinyan’s words about the right of 'Armenians to self-determination,' President Ilham Aliyev said: "On self-determination, that’s what they always talk about. Armenian people self-determinated themselves, they have Armenian state. My advice is to find other place on Earth to self-determinate them for the second time, not in Azerbaijan."

On Sept. 16, 2016, at a regular meeting of the CIS Council of Heads of State held in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, speaking about the importance of regional cooperation, Ilham Aliyev noted: "Also, together with our neighboring CIS member-states, we are implementing projects that will have a great future for our countries. We invest in the construction of ports, railways, sea transport, the construction of modern international airports. This is an area that brings a steady source of income, an area that goes beyond the scope of the economy and also leads to the strengthening of cooperation. Enhanced cooperation means the strengthening of security and mutual confidence."

On Oct. 3, 2019, at the plenary session of the 16th Annual Meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi city, President Ilham Aliyev once again demonstrated to the whole world to whom Karabakh really belongs.

Having exposed yet another lie of the Armenian prime minister, President Ilham Aliyev stated: "I would also like to touch upon the statement of the Prime Minister of Armenia that has caused surprise not only in Azerbaijan. A corresponding reaction was also given to it by the Russian Federation within the framework of the Valdai Forum. The statement is as follows: ‘Karabakh is a part of Armenia, and full stop.’ Well, first of all, it is a lie, to put it mildly. Karabakh – both upper and lower – is recognized by the whole world as an integral part of Azerbaijan. Armenia itself does not recognize this illegal entity. Karabakh is a historical and ancestral Azerbaijani land. Therefore, Karabakh is Azerbaijan, and exclamation mark!"

Thus, Baku has once again made it clear that it would never accept the occupation of its lands and wouldn’t allow the creation of a second Armenian state on its ancestral land. During the 44-day battles, the head of state repeatedly voiced Azerbaijan’s position to the international community. On October 3, 2020, in an interview with Al Jazeera TV channel, Ilham Aliyev said: "Those countries which want to give self-determination to Nagorno-Karabakh, let them give part of their land to Armenians from Nagorno-Karabakh, take them and give self-determination there. I would see what will be their reaction.''

President Ilham Aliyev thereby made it clear to both friends and enemies that the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan is not a subject of discussion. The head of state proved that he doesn’t waste words.

The territorial integrity of Azerbaijan has been restored. ''Karabakh is Azerbaijan, and exclamation mark!''

Sadraddin Ismayilov

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