Statement by President Ilham Aliyev
-Thank you very much Mr. Secretary General,
First of all, thank you for your invitation. I am very glad to visit again NATO’s headquarters and have an opportunity to discuss important issues of our cooperation.
Our cooperation has already good history. Azerbaijan participated in many NATO operations: in KFOR, in ISAF, and now Azerbaijan is contributing to Resolute Support Mission. 94 Azerbaijani servicemen serve shoulder to shoulder with NATO servicemen in order to provide security and peace of Afghanistan. Azerbaijan also provides a multi-model transit and over-flight clearances for coalition forces. Azerbaijan contributed to Afghan army’s National Trust Fund, and as Mr. Secretary General said, we will increase the number of our servicemen in order to contribute even more to peace, stability and security of Afghanistan.
Azerbaijan joined individual partnership action plan since 2004 and completed four cycles. The fifth cycle is being conducted now and it’s also a very important element of our cooperation.
As Mr. Secretary General said we discussed today the issues related to regional security, and the biggest threat to regional security is unresolved conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. For many years, our territories are under Armenian occupation. More than one million Azerbaijanis became refugees and internally displaced persons. Ethnic cleansing policy was conducted against Azerbaijanis and situation is not changing unfortunately. Armenia wants to keep status quo as long as possible despite the statements of OSCE Minsk group presidents that status quo is unacceptable and must be changed. United Nations Security Council adopted four resolutions demanding immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Armenian troops from the occupied territories, and Armenia for more than twenty years does not implement them. The resolution of the conflict must be based on relevant resolutions of Security Council of United Nations and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. Territorial integrity of Azerbaijan is recognized by the whole world.
Today also we discussed the issues related to transportation security. I informed Mr. Secretary General that Azerbaijan together with its neighbors successfully completed the construction of Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railroad, which will be the shortest route between Asia and Europe, and also supply to Afghanistan will be easier and more efficient through this route. Our cooperation with NATO has a great potential, the history of cooperation demonstrates that. My visit today to the headquarters is the sixth visit. It demonstrates that our cooperation is very strong. And we will continue our partnership in order to provide peace and security and stability in our region. Thank you very much.