Baku, July 19, AZERTAC
“We hope and are sure that Italy, as a country presiding over the OSCE, will play an active role in the settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” said President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev at a joint press conference with his Italian counterpart Sergio Mattarella in Baku.
“I have briefed Mr. President on the conflict and outlined Azerbaijan's position on the current state of the talks. We want an early settlement of this conflict on the basis of norms and principles of international law and within the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan,” the head of state said.
“The historical lands of Azerbaijan recognized by the international community, Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding districts, have been under Armenian occupation for many years. As a result of this occupation and a policy of ethnic cleansing, 20 per cent of our lands has been captured and over a million of Azerbaijanis have become IDPs and refugees.
War crimes have been committed against our people. The historical and religious monuments on our occupied lands have been destroyed. The OSCE has sent two fact-finding missions to the occupied regions. The reports of these missions indicate that Armenia has destroyed all our historical monuments and infrastructure facilities. There is a legal basis for the settlement of the conflict. Twenty-five years ago, the UN Security Council adopted four resolutions. The resolutions state that the Armenian armed forces must withdraw from the occupied lands immediately and unconditionally. These resolutions are still in force and it is necessary to ensure their implementation. Unfortunately, Armenia has for many years ignored these resolutions, continues its predatory policy and is trying to maintain the status quo.
The co-chair countries of the Minsk Group, which deals directly with this issue, have repeatedly stated at the level of presidents that the status quo is unacceptable and must be changed. We support this position and believe that it is necessary to take steps to resolve the conflict as soon as possible. Armenian occupying forces should withdraw from our historical lands,” President Ilham Aliyev added.
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