Baku, June 18, AZERTAC
The Eastern Partnership Summit has been held in the format of a video conference.
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev attended the summit.
Charles Michel, President of the European Council, opened the Eastern Partnership Summit with an opening address.
Speaking next was President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen.
Then the floor was given to heads of state and government of member countries of the European Union and the Eastern Partnership.
President of the European Council Charles Michel: And now I am giving the floor to President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev. Please, Mr. President.
Speech of President Ilham Aliyev
- Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Ladies and Gentlemen.
Azerbaijan is an active partner country of the Eastern Partnership. Cooperation with the European Union is one of the top priorities of Azerbaijan’s foreign policy. We have close cooperation with many member countries of the European Union. Azerbaijan has signed strategic partnership documents with nine members of the European Union. We are in the final stages of negotiations on a new partnership agreement with the European Union. Ninety percent of the text has already been agreed. Two years ago, in Brussels, the “Partnership Priorities” document was initialed between Azerbaijan and the European Union. It emphasizes the commitment of both parties to the principles of independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of internationally recognized borders. The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan must be resolved on the basis of the same principles. Armenia continues to occupy 20 percent of the internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan. Nagorno-Karabakh and seven other districts of Azerbaijan have been under Armenian occupation for about 30 years. As a result of Armenia’s policy of ethnic cleansing, more than 1 million Azerbaijanis became refugees and internally displaced persons. Four UN Security Council resolutions require a complete and unconditional withdrawal of Armenian troops from all occupied territories of Azerbaijan. Instead of observing these resolutions, as well as relevant documents adopted by the OSCE, the Non-Aligned Movement, NATO, the European Parliament and other international organizations, Armenia pursues a policy of illegal settlement in the occupied territories. Contrary to what the Prime Minister of Armenia is saying in an effort to nullify the essence and format of the negotiations, Nagorno-Karabakh is not Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh is Azerbaijan, and the whole world recognizes it as such. The territorial integrity of Azerbaijan must be restored.
Despite the occupation and humanitarian catastrophe, Azerbaijan has achieved great results in terms of the socioeconomic development. Over the past 16 years, our gross domestic product has tripled and the poverty rate has dropped from 49 to 5 percent. The European Union is our main trading partner. About 50 percent of our trade comes from member states. For almost 15 years now, Azerbaijan has been a reliable supplier transporting crude oil to European markets. In the near future, we will begin to supply natural gas to member states of the European Union. Our country initiated the construction of the Southern Gas Corridor, an integrated pipeline system with a length of 3,500 kilometers that will connect Azerbaijan with the markets of the European Union, and financed it. The Southern Gas Corridor is a project of energy cooperation, energy security and energy diversification.
Measures taken against the coronavirus pandemic have allowed us the opportunity to keep the situation under control and losses at minimum level. The World Health Organization has described Azerbaijan as a model country in the fight against coronavirus. Azerbaijan, elected chair by a unanimous decision of 120 countries members of the Non-Aligned Movement in 2019, organized an online summit of the Movement on COVID-19 on 4 May this year. We greatly appreciate the participation of the European Union and the African Union in this event. I want to express my gratitude to the High Representative, Mr. Josep Borrell, for the video message. We hope that this will be the beginning of active cooperation between the European Union and the Non-Aligned Movement. We also suggested holding a special meeting of the UN General Assembly at the level of heads of state and government in a video conference format dedicated to COVID-19. Azerbaijan has voluntarily allocated financial assistance to the World Health Organization in the amount of $10 million to combat the pandemic. At the same time, our country has provided humanitarian assistance to 29 states so far and plans to continue this work. Thank you!
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Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan made a remark in Armenian.
Charles Michel: Pashinyan, we can’t hear the translation.
Nikol Pashinyan’s remark: I am sorry I have to intervene. Recently, the European Court of Human Rights passed a ruling that Azerbaijan pursued a racial policy against Armenians in its territory. A citizen of Azerbaijan who killed a sleeping Armenian with an axe and was sentenced to life imprisonment by a court of a European Union member state was, after being extradited from this country, pardoned by Mr. Aliyev. This person is perceived by everyone in Azerbaijan as a hero. The Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh have the right to self-defense in order not to be killed by an axe.
I apologize but I believe that the Eastern Partnership platform is not meant for inciting violence. It is necessary to encourage partnership here. I urge the President of Azerbaijan to return to the constructive course and constructive formula I have proposed, according to which the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict should be acceptable to the peoples of Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenia and Azerbaijan.
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Then President Ilham Aliyev took the floor again:
- What I said in my remarks is historical truth based on the resolutions of international organizations. First of all, everyone knows that Armenia has occupied the territory of Azerbaijan. Secondly, I would not advise the prime minister of Armenia to talk about racism because Armenian terrorists are known all over the world. A man named Karapetyan committed a terrorist act at Orly Airport in Paris was subsequently extradited to Armenia and pardoned by the President of Armenia. This is why I would recommend that he sit quietly when discussions are under way on such issues. This concludes my speech.
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During the “Eastern Partnership” summit held in the format of a video conference, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan exposed himself yet again. Here are a few facts explicitly confirming this. First, the Prime Minister of Armenia, while reading from a piece of paper in English, used the word “Nagorno-Karabakh” adopted by the international community, while in his speech in Armenian he uses the word “Artsakh”.
This once again shows that the prime minister of Armenia uses the expression “Artsakh”, which is unfamiliar to the international community, only in speeches designed for the internal audience. Pashinyan’s speech at the summit also demonstrated the “level of English” of the Armenian prime minister. He read out a pre-prepared speech in English, but failed to express himself in this language afterwards. The way out was to speak Armenian. In his speech, the prime minister of Armenia also noted that in order to address urgent needs in the fight against the coronavirus and reduce the impact of the pandemic, his country had received assistance from the European Union in the amount of 92 million euros. The President of Azerbaijan emphasized in his speech that our country had allocated financial assistance in the amount of $10 million to the World Health Organization to fight the pandemic. At the same time, Azerbaijan has provided humanitarian assistance to 29 states, and this work continues. This is a compelling fact demonstrating the deep gulf between Azerbaijan and Armenia in the economic sphere and indeed all other areas. It is no coincidence that the World Health Organization has described Azerbaijan as an exemplary country in the fight against coronavirus and approves Azerbaijan’s assistance to other countries, while Armenia simply asks for money to fight the coronavirus.
Pashinyan told another lie in his speech. Referring to the latest ruling of the European Court of Human Rights in a completely falsified form, he began to argue that this ruling allegedly stated that Azerbaijan was pursuing a racial policy against Armenians in its territory, expressed his dissatisfaction with the extradition of Ramil Safarov to Azerbaijan and the fact that he is perceived in the country as a hero. However, Pashinyan should know that it is unacceptable to distort the judgment of an international court. The decision of the European Court of Human Rights does not bring any charges against Azerbaijan. The ruling of this court does not indicate that Azerbaijan bears any responsibility for racism. The decision notes that the incident occurred on the basis of a personal relationship. Thus, the lies and falsifications of Pashinyan, who accused Azerbaijan of racism on the basis of a ruling of the European Court of Human Rights, were once again exposed.
In his speech, President Ilham Aliyev touched upon the issue related to terrorist Karapetyan. The incident the head of state spoke about had occurred at the Paris Orly airport on 15 July 1983. As a result of the bloody act of terror perpetrated by a member of the ASALA terrorist organization, Varuzhan Karapetyan, in front of the “Turkish Airlines” ticket office, two Turkish citizens, four citizens of France, one citizen of the United States and one citizen of Sweden were killed. During the terrorist attack, 55 people were also injured. Karapetyan admitted to committing the attack during the investigation and said that the actual plan was to detonate a bomb in an airplane. Although a French court sentenced him to life imprisonment for the crime, Karapetyan was extradited to Armenia in 2001. The terrorist was met there like a hero, was received by the then prime minister of Armenia, Andranik Margaryan, and provided with housing and work. This once again shows that glorification of someone who has committed an act of terror is a common occurrence in Armenia. This is one of the many facts that testify to Armenia’s support of terrorism at state level.
Pashinyan once again disgraced himself after being checkmated by the weighty historical facts cited by the President of Azerbaijan. And this is an undesirable situation for any head of government.
One of the most interesting and funny moments was that Pashinyan attended the event wearing a protective mask. We recall that Pashinyan recently announced that he had become infected with coronavirus but then said that he had recovered. According to experts, according to medical protocols, a person infected with coronavirus and recovering from the infection does not infect anyone because antibodies are formed in the body. Therefore, wearing a mask is not necessary in such cases. Why then did Pashinyan put on a mask in front of the camera?! As is seen from the footage, none of the heads of state or government except for Pashinyan put on a mask, because according to international medical standards, if there is no-one around, then you don’t need to wear a mask. This means that it is yet another cheap show by Pashinyan. His goal is to portray himself as a victim in the eyes of his people and attract public attention.
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