President Ilham Aliyev: Positions of Azerbaijan and France overlap on many issues

Baku, March 15, AZERTAC

“The political dialogue that has developed between us has entered a very active stage. We continue this dialogue today. We see that our positions on many issues overlap. Our strong political relations, of course, have a positive impact on all spheres,” said Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev as he made a press statement following his meeting with French President Francois Hollande in Paris.

“France as a co-chair of the Minsk Group is making efforts to resolve the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. We appreciate these efforts. In particular, I want to emphasize the meeting I held with the President of Armenia on your initiative at the Elysee Palace at the end of 2014. It was a very constructive and positive meeting. Unfortunately, after that meeting there was certain stagnation in the negotiations. We want to resolve the issue on the basis of norms and principles of international law as soon as possible. Armenia has for many years occupied Azerbaijani lands recognized by the international community. It occupies Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent districts. The entire Azerbaijani population, hundreds of thousands of people have been driven out of these regions. All infrastructure and buildings there have been destroyed.”

“The OSCE fact-finding missions have visited the occupied territories twice and confirmed this in their reports. The UN Security Council has adopted four resolutions in connection with the conflict, which unequivocally state that Armenian forces must withdraw from occupied lands immediately and unconditionally. These resolutions were adopted in the early 1990s. Armenia, as it appears, is not inclined to implement these resolutions. Therefore, at the first stage, negotiations should resume as soon as possible. Armenia should not try to evade talks. As Mr. Hollande has noted, the status quo is unacceptable. The presidents of Minsk Group co-chair countries – France, Russia and America – have repeatedly stated that the status quo is unacceptable. We say the same thing. We want an early change in the status quo and an end to the conflict, so that peace could be guaranteed in our region and Azerbaijani IDPs could return to their native land,” said the Azerbaijani President.

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