Vienna, March 29, AZERTAC
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has given an interview to the Russian TASS news agency in Vienna.
Answering a correspondent’s question about the talks with Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan, the head of the Azerbaijani state Ilham Aliyev said:
- As you know, the foreign ministers have held several rounds of talks. The meeting is important because a new start has been given to the negotiating process on the subject matter.
We have discussed issues related to the strengthening of confidence-building measures, perhaps within the framework of contacts between people. In previous years, there were contacts between members of the public. It is too early to talk about it now, but as far as humanitarian issues are concerned, this is implied. After all, the negotiations should also be supported by humanitarian actions, of course.
But I think that it is important that the format of negotiations has remained unchanged. The negotiations are held between Armenia and Azerbaijan, as has been the case for many years. Secondly, a new impetus has been given to the process of negotiations. This is also important. We have a positive assessment of the statement by Minsk Group co-chairs from 9 March. You are probably aware of it. It says that changes to the negotiating format can only take place with the consent of the two parties. The Azerbaijani side did not give its consent for that, of course. Therefore, in principle, we have returned to a situation when it is necessary to continue substantive negotiations. And instructions have been given to the Ministers of Foreign Affairs. They will probably meet in the near future in order to continue the negotiations, which should be focused on the result. For Azerbaijan, the issue of de-occupation of internationally recognized territories of Azerbaijan within the framework of international law, the Helsinki Final Act and four resolutions of the UN Security Council, which require an immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Armenian forces from the occupied territories, is in the first place.
Correspondent: Thank you very much, Mr. President.
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