President Ilham Aliyev: Armenian government’s attempts to change the negotiation format is unacceptable

Thu 14 Mar 2019 15:33 GMT | 19:33 Local Time

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“Our people were the subject of ethnic cleansing and all our historical monuments on the occupied territories are destroyed by Armenian Armed Forces. And this is reflected in the report of the OSCE which twice sent missions to find facts on the occupied territories,” said President Ilham Aliyev as he made a speech at the 7th Global Baku Forum, AzerTag reports.

“Occupation of Azerbaijani lands is a brutal violation of international law and relevant resolutions and decisions of main international organizations. UN Security Council adopted four resolutions demanding immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Armenian troops, from our territories and they are not implemented by Armenia. UN Secretary-General, OSCE, Organization of Islamic Cooperation, European Parliament, Non-Aligned Movement, and other organizations adopted similar resolutions and decisions. They are based on international law. They are based on justice, and they create a legal framework for peaceful resolutions of the conflict. Status-quo is unacceptable, and presidents of the countries of the OSCE Minsk group which has a mandate to organized negotiations, on several occasions stated that the status quo is unacceptable and must be changed. In order to do it, Armenia must start to withdraw its troops from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, and allow refugees and IDPs to return to their homeland,” President of Azerbaijan noted.

“Armenian government tries to change the negotiation format. This is absolutely unacceptable and counterproductive and we consider it as an attempt to block the negotiations process. And not only we think like that, but we are also glad that international organizations share this view. Just recently OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs issued a statement actually sending a clear message to Armenia that their attempts to change negotiation format are not accepted. A couple of days earlier high officials of European Union made the same statement. Negotiation format has been elaborated for many years and any attempt, on unilateral change is considered as an attempt to block the negotiation process with all responsibility on the side which tries to do it. Therefore, negotiations format cannot be changed. This is the first thing and second negotiations must be result-oriented not just for the sake of negotiations. Azerbaijan is ready to continue this process. And as a result of the negotiations, our territorial integrity must be restored. Territorial integrity is a fundamental principle of international law. United Nations Charter, Helsinki Final Act has a very clear definition of the balance between territorial integrity and self-determination. Self-determination should not violate the territorial integrity of countries. Therefore, the conflicts must be resolved based on international law norms, relevant resolutions of the United Nations Security Council, and based on the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan,” the head of state added.

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