Baku, October 21, AZERTAC
Italy-based Il Libero newspaper has published an interview with Azerbaijani ambassador in Rome Mammad Ahmadzade.
The ambassador hailed the importance of Pope Francis' recent visit to Azerbaijan. He said Azerbaijan and the Vatican enjoy close ties. He commended the Heydar Aliyev Foundation`s contribution to the restoration of the Catholic cultural heritage, saying this has played a vital role in strengthening relations between Azerbaijan and the Vatican.
Ahmadzade spoke of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. He said it is ridiculous to introduce it as a religious conflict. He said an Armenian church in the center of Baku, where 5,000 books in the Armenian language are kept, has been restored by the Azerbaijani government. The ambassador underlined the necessity of ensuring the return of Azerbaijani refugees and internally displaced persons to their native lands. He expressed regret that “numerous international documents, including four UN Security Council resolutions which demand the withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan have not yet been implemented”.
The ambassador highlighted a fresh wave of the Armenian military aggression which happened this April when “the Armenian armed units used chemical weapons against Azerbaijani civilians and even threatened to use nuclear weapons”.
Ahmadzade hailed Moscow`s recent increased mediation efforts, saying this could contribute to the resolution of the conflict. "Azerbaijan has always been interested in peaceful settlement of the problem, but peace can be possible only if the Armenian armed forces withdraw from the occupied territories," he said.