Trend’s interview with Deputy Head of the Foreign Policy Affairs Department of the Azerbaijani Presidential Administration Hikmet Hajiyev.
Question: The outgoing week was intensive in terms of the country's foreign policy and was full of numerous meetings of the head of state with foreign delegations.
Answer: The visits to the country during the week, and the meetings held by the head of state with foreign delegations once again showed dynamic, flexible and multilateral foreign policy of Azerbaijan.
Baku hosted a meeting of Palestinian ambassadors in Asian countries, and in this context, the head of state received a delegation led by Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki.
It should be noted that the Palestinian issue is one of the most pressing topics on the international agenda, and Azerbaijan is contributing to the solution of this issue and elimination of humanitarian problems of Palestinians. The head of state also met with a delegation led by the Minister of the Internal Affairs of Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia doesn’t have any ties with Armenia due to the occupation and aggressive policy pursued by this country towards Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan is committed to Islamic solidarity and is making a significant contribution to its strengthening by taking effective steps.
Following the first security dialogue held between Azerbaijan and the EU in late October, the EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus visited Azerbaijan and was received by President Ilham Aliyev.
The EU is one of the important partners of Azerbaijan, and, as one of the high-ranking EU representatives said, Azerbaijan is a country that pursues a stable, modern and moderate policy.
In other words, Azerbaijan is an important partner for the EU. Completion of work on a draft partnership agreement between Azerbaijan and the EU will give an additional impetus to the comprehensive development of cooperation.
During the meeting of the head of state with a delegation led by the head of the US Transportation Command, the sides discussed Azerbaijan’s contribution to NATO’s Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan, transit and transport support provided to NATO member countries, and prospects for developing cooperation with the United States in various fields.
In a word, I can say that successful foreign policy activities are carried out under the leadership of the head of state and Azerbaijan’s partnership relations are constantly expanding in terms of geography and content.
Q: The tendency of further strengthening the country's fair position on the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict continues. All parties recognize the unacceptability of the status quo.
A: The unacceptability of the status quo was highlighted in the message of the heads of state of OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries during the G8 summit in Deauville in 2011.
Recently, during a briefing of OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs, held at the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna, the United States and other delegations reiterated the unacceptability of the status quo.
It is clear that the status quo based on the occupation is unacceptable and should be changed. The change of the status quo envisages withdrawal of Armenian troops from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan’s position on the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict is based on the norms and principles of international law, resolutions of the UN Security Council and the Helsinki Final Act.
If we look at the period covering the last months, we can highlight the document on partnership priorities with the EU, the final declaration of the NATO Brussels Summit, the address of the Chancellor and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany, US officials and the US ambassador to Armenia, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belgium, and the declarations adopted at the trilateral meetings of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan, Turkey and Iran, as well as Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey in Istanbul.
Generally speaking, these declarations reflect support for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and inviolability of the borders of Azerbaijan. These documents say that Nagorno-Karabakh is the territory of Azerbaijan and the conflict’s resolution requires withdrawal of Armenian troops from the occupied Azerbaijani territories.
Support for the fair position of Azerbaijan first of all shows the commitment of states to obligations undertaken in accordance with the UN Charter.
Armenia should properly assess the situation and withdraw its troops from the territory of Azerbaijan. Only in this case it is possible to achieve progress in resolving the conflict and to ensure sustainable peace that the region needs.
Q: Several days ago, Astana hosted a summit of heads of state of the Collective Security Treaty Organization. The summit ended with another failure for Armenia. Despite the wishes and claims of Armenia, the secretary general, who represented Armenia, was recalled from his post ahead of time. Armenia was trying to keep this post until 2020.
A: Naturally, this decision was made by the CSTO member states. Azerbaijan closely watched the CSTO summit. The documents signed at the end of the summit and the final declaration were taken into account. One of these documents is about the legal status of observer countries and partner countries.
As for Armenia, it is obvious that this country is isolated and cornered. It should be noted that Azerbaijan has very close friendship and partnership relations with all CSTO members, except for Armenia for well-known reasons. This cooperation continues to expand in bilateral and multilateral formats.