President Aliyev: Liberation of occupied Azerbaijani districts is to be carried out in phased manner

The liberation of the occupied Azerbaijani districts is to be carried out in a phased manner, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev said in an interview to Director General of “Rossiya Segodnya International News Agency” media holding Dmitry Kiselev for Russian RIA Novosti agency.

“At the first stage, it is the southeastern part of the occupied territories – five districts. At the second stage, it is the territories located between Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia – Lachin and Kalbajar districts, the opening of all communications, including communications located in other parts of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, the return of refugees and internally displaced persons to their places of the original residence, which implies the return of Azerbaijani refugees to Shusha and other parts of the former Nagorno-Karabakh autonomous region,” the head of state said.

“These principles have been developed over many years, over more than 10 years, I would say. In the process of my work with the previous leadership of Armenia, we actively moved forward in the process of coordinating positions. It was very difficult. Negotiations are a difficult process in themselves, and even more so on such an important issue. Nevertheless, both sides showed a desire to follow the path of a political settlement. Unfortunately, after the current government of Armenia came to power, everything that had been accumulated before was simply thrown into the wastebasket by the Armenian side. There was also an attempt to change the format of negotiations, to involve the authorities of the so-called “Nagorno-Karabakh republic” in the negotiations, which was rejected both by us and the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group. As for the fundamental principles, everything is explicitly spelled out there. The liberation of the occupied Azerbaijani districts is to be carried out in a phased manner. At the first stage, it is the southeastern part of the occupied territories – five districts. At the second stage, it is the territories located between Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia – Lachin and Kalbajar districts, the opening of all communications, including communications located in other parts of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, the return of refugees and internally displaced persons to their places of the original residence, which implies the return of Azerbaijani refugees to Shusha and other parts of the former Nagorno-Karabakh autonomous region. And then the negotiations on the final status of Nagorno-Karabakh to be agreed by the parties. In a nutshell, these are the fundamental principles for which Azerbaijan has always expressed respect – we have developed them. But the new Armenian government has repeatedly stated that they were unacceptable, that they would not return a single centimeter of our lands. The prime minister said this. The Armenian defense minister said that Armenia was preparing for a new war for new territories. There were incessant threats and insults addressed to us, which resulted in such confrontation. I think that the Armenian side should soberly assess the current situation and be committed to the ceasefire, which it violated in a barbaric manner a few hours later by bombing the sleeping city of Ganja,” President Aliyev added.

News.Az 




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