Ilham Aliyev: Azerbaijan has no territorial claims to Armenia, but Azerbaijanis have the right to return to their native lands
Azerbaijan has no territorial claims to Armenia, but Azerbaijanis forcibly deported from this country have the right to return there after normalization and establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, stated Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in an interview with Euronews, according to Azerbaijan in Focus, reporting Turan.
“If Armenia wants peace, we will achieve it. Because we don’t have any territorial claims to Armenia and we don’t want them to have territorial claims to Azerbaijan either,” Aliyev said.
Before the war, hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis lived in Armenia, against whom a full-scale ethnic cleansing was carried out, their cultural and religious heritage was completely destroyed.
“We believe that Azerbaijanis forcibly deported from Armenia have the right to return there when Azerbaijan and Armenia normalize their relations and establish diplomatic ties,” Aliyev said.
After the 44-day war in 2020, Azerbaijan developed the principles of the peace agreement, which “represent well-known principles of international law, namely mutual recognition of each other’s territorial integrity, sovereignty, international borders, delimitation of borders, non-use of force or threat of force.”
With Armenia’s “constructive approach”, a peace agreement could be signed by the end of this year, he said and noted that the issues of establishing the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan and restoring communications are currently on the table.
He reminded that Armenia has signed a pledge to give us access to Nakhchivan, but it is still not happening.
Commenting on the issue of rivalry between the West and Russia in mediating the Armenian-Azerbaijani settlement, Aliyev recalled that “it was Russia that was the mediator in the ceasefire agreement – the Declaration of 10 November 2020.”
“It was not the US or the EU. My first meetings with the Armenian Prime Minister were organised by Russia. The situation changed after the start of the Russian-Ukrainian war, when the US and Europe became active. For us there is no big difference who leads the negotiation process, the result is important. We will support anyone who helps to conclude a peace agreement,” Aliyev said.