Baku, January 12, AZERTAC
“The status quo based on occupation is unacceptable. Armenia is trying to use the "fait accompli" attitude and strengthen the occupation,” said head of the Department of Foreign Policy Affairs of the Azerbaijani Presidential Administration Hikmat Hajiyev as he was interviewed by TRT World.
Hajiyev said that the fundamental basis of the conflict is the aggression policy pursued by Armenia against Azerbaijan by using force. He noted that Armenia carried out a bloody ethnic cleansing against Azerbaijanis in the occupied territories and more than a million Azerbaijanis are still forced to live as refugees and IDPs. Hajiyev underlined that in order to achieve progress in the settlement of the conflict, first of all, the occupation must be ended and Armenian troops must be withdrawn from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan. Noting that the basis for the settlement of the conflict was enshrined in the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council, the Helsinki Final Act and other documents, Hajiyev stressed that after the withdrawal of Armenian troops from the occupied territories, opportunities for a political solution to the conflict can appear.
Touching upon the Dushanbe Summit, he recalled the conversation between President Ilham Aliyev and Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan and said that the Republic of Azerbaijan once again demonstrated its constructive position. Hajiyev pointed out that Azerbaijan is the most interested party in the soonest settlement of the conflict because Azerbaijan has been suffering from occupation for more than 26 years. Hajiyev pointed out that there are favorable opportunities for settling the conflict and noted that Armenia should take steps to resolve the conflict after the formation of government.
Answering a question about the possibility of ethnic reconciliation, the Presidential Administration official said that Azerbaijan is proud of its multicultural values and culture of tolerance, and despite the fact that the national peace process is a complicated and time-consuming issue as part of the conflict resolution process, it is possible. "For this, first of all, Armenian troops must be withdrawn from the occupied territories and the return of Azerbaijani IDPs to their native lands must be ensured. In this aspect, confidence-building measures can be taken, comprehensive regional cooperation can be restored and ethnic reconciliation can be ensured," he said.
Hajiyev reminded that at present Armenia is isolated, does not have access to regional transport projects, adding that however the settlement of the conflict can create regional cooperation opportunities for the country. He called on Armenia to end its occupation policy and pursue international law-based policy toward neighboring states, adding that the Armenian authorities should prepare their people for peace with neighboring countries.
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