“Due to the fact of occupation which lasted almost 30 years, Azerbaijan openly declared its position that we will not cooperate with Armenia until the territories are liberated. I think that Armenia itself now understands that they made a very big mistake, because they lost time. If we look at today’s situation in Armenia we will see that the situation is much worse than when Armenia became an independent country. Because today Armenia doesn’t have army. It has been totally destroyed, it’s been in permanent political crisis for more than six months,” said President Ilham Aliyev as he addressed the Nizami Ganjavi International Center’s web discussion themed “The South Caucasus: Regional Development and Prospective for Cooperation.
“There is a big degree of mistrust in society, mutual accusations and some political leaders’ rhetoric is beyond any acceptable framework. So, they lost time, they were deprived of the initiatives of Azerbaijan with respect to energy and transportation development and finally they lost the territories which they occupied and the territories which never belonged to them neither by history nor by international law. But now, after the conflict is over, the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has been resolved, has been resolved primarily by Azerbaijan and then by a joint declaration of 10 November last year we need to look to the future. Despite 30 years of occupation and large-scale destruction and devastation on the liberated territories, Azerbaijan is ready to look to the future, to plan its future as a part of integrated region of the South Caucasus. We hope that the time will come that we will really talk about active cooperation in the South Caucasus and integration. We all already made very important proposals and initiatives, by the way, which are reflected in the joint declaration of 10 November 2020, particularly with respect to opening of communications and opening new transportation corridors. I can tell you that the work have already started, on implementation of this project. Azerbaijan already allocated technical and financial resources for that. And when Zangazur corridor opens, it will open new opportunities for all the countries of the region. Therefore, I would like to say that Azerbaijan is open for cooperation, open for planning our common future, because we are neighbors whether we like it or not. We have to live side by side, and we need to learn once again how to live side by side. It’s not easy, emotions are here, especially when Azerbaijani people visit liberated territories and see total destruction you can imagine what kind of emotions they have. But the role of politicians is to defend their agenda and to explain that only through interaction we can provide sustainable development and peace and security in the region,” the head of state noted.