President Aliyev: Our cities and villages were destroyed by Armenians

Early settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict will bring peace and stability to the region, said President Ilham Aliyev.

He made the remarks May 31 during a meeting with heads of diplomatic missions and ambassadors of Muslim countries in Azerbaijan on the occasion of the holy month of Ramadan.

“Welcome, dear ambassadors,” Ilham Aliyev said. “Our meetings in the holy month of Ramadan are of a traditional nature. I would like to take this opportunity to convey my greetings to the heads of state and government of the countries you represent. There are very close friendly ties between the countries you represent and our country. My visits to your countries, the visits of the heads of state and government of your countries to Azerbaijan are vivid proof of this. As you know, we successfully cooperate and support each other as part of international organizations. In particular, I would like to mention the cooperation in the UN. Our cooperation at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation is very successful. We successfully cooperate and constantly support each other at other international organizations as well.”

“Our friendly countries, Muslim countries, support Azerbaijan’s fair position on the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” Ilham Aliyev said. “I am grateful to you for this support. As you know, all leading international organizations adopted decisions and resolutions that require settlement of this conflict within Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity.”

The president reminded that the UN Security Council adopted four resolutions regarding the conflict. The UN General Assembly, the OSCE, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the European Parliament, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) and other organizations also adopted similar decisions and resolutions, he said.

These decisions and resolutions create legal framework for resolving the conflict, President Aliyev said, adding that the Muslim countries in these organizations participate in the adoption of these decisions and resolutions and support the settlement of the conflict.

“As you know, Azerbaijan’s historical lands recognized by the world community have been under Armenian occupation for many years,” he said. “As a result of this occupation, more than one million Azerbaijanis became refugees and IDPs. Our cities and villages were destroyed by Armenians. Our museums were looted. Our historical, religious monuments and mosques were destroyed by Armenians. This is an unprecedented vandalism. Armenians committed the Khojaly genocide against our people. More than ten countries officially recognized this genocide."

President Aliyev went on to say that in order to resolve the conflict as soon as possible, first of all, Armenia must immediately and unconditionally withdraw its forces from the occupied lands and implement the resolutions of the UN Security Council, which is the supreme international body.

"Once again, I express my gratitude to your countries and to you for the fair position on this issue,” he said.

He stressed that Azerbaijan also, in turn, provides support in international organizations for decisions and resolutions that protect the interests of all Muslim countries, and initiated many of them.

“The Organization of Islamic Cooperation rightfully highly appreciates the activity of Azerbaijan in this direction, and repeatedly stated that Azerbaijan plays a very important role in the issues of Islamic solidarity,” he said. “Strengthening of Islamic solidarity for us is one of the main priority issues of foreign policy. We are active members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. As you know, last year was announced in Azerbaijan as the “Year of Islamic Solidarity”. With the participation of your countries, grandiose 4th Islamic Solidarity Games were held in Baku. These Games are not just a sports competition, they also demonstrated the unity of the Islamic world, and we must try to fully ensure the unity of the Islamic world.”

The Azerbaijani president reminded that the ancient Azerbaijani city of Nakhchivan was declared the capital of Islamic culture this year.

“This is the second time that an Azerbaijani city is awarded this honorary title,” Ilham Aliyev noted. “The first time this title was awarded to Baku. This shows that the entire Muslim world recognizes Nakhchivan as the ancient Azerbaijani land, the Muslim land. Our monuments important for the entire Muslim community located in Nakhchivan are monuments of global significance. As you know, Azerbaijan plays an important role in introducing Islamic culture in the world. Exhibitions, presentations, other cultural events held in many European countries promote Islamic culture and embody Islamic values. We will continue this policy in the future. Once again I welcome you and wish success, health and happiness to you and your peoples.”

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