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.
- Mr. President, Real Television, we have a question. 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; of course, we must be ready to strengthen our position in these new realities. Today's panel discussion again showed that some people do not want to come to terms with these realities but will have to do that. Because we live in the real world and the processes unfolding in our region certainly require new approaches.
As a reputable international forum, I am glad that the Munich Security Conference pays special attention to this issue. The number of participants was substantial, and the interest was relatively strong. No one would have left the meeting even if this discussion had lasted more hours.
As for Azerbaijan's position, our position is unequivocal. I have expressed it in closed-door meetings and my official statements. Today, at the event initiated by Secretary of State Blinken, I stated that we are advocating for justice. We have never allowed outside forces to interfere in our internal affairs and never will. 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 Armenia-Azerbaijan relations, our position here is entirely logical. We want this normalization to happen as soon as possible and the era of enmity to be left in the past. If the Armenian side finds the determination and strength, I am confident it will be achievable soon.
- Thank you. The Armenian prime minister has voiced non-objective views 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 many of you were expecting something like the “Caucasian bureau,” but fortunately, it didn’t happen this time. And yet, I think a more complete picture could have emerged from the point of view of sincerity.
Because you know that it is impossible to conceal the truth or distort 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 stems from 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, and there is historical logic here. We want Armenia to give up its territorial claims against us and for normalization to happen.
What does Armenia want? We cannot understand that. Sometimes they say that they will not comment on the events on the Lachin-Khankendi road and that this matter is unrelated to them. Sometimes they say they want to deal with the “Nagorno-Karabakh problem.” Therefore, they should make up their mind, articulate it correctly and convey their position to international 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.
- I believe it is inappropriate 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? Azerbaijan has recently made initiatives about 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.
- This is natural. It is already the case, 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 holder of a new source and as a country that has done much for European energy security. Many meetings acknowledge our contribution to European energy security, and we receive words of gratitude.
Both Europe and Azerbaijan can only benefit here. We are already doing that. Undoubtedly, the more successful our energy diplomacy is, the better our country's interests will be served.
Journalists: Thank you very much.