On November 6, the meeting of the Council of Heads of Government of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) has taken place in videoconference format. Mr.Ali Asadov, Prime Minister of the Republic of Azerbaijan has participated at the meeting.
CIS Heads of Government brought up for discussion current issues of cooperation between participating States in various areas, including economic and humanitarian spheres. Mr.Ali Asadov, Prime Minister of the Republic of Azerbaijan delivered a speech at the meeting.
Speech of Prime Minister Ali Asadov
Dear Abdulla Nigmatovich,
Let me greet you and members of the Council of CIS Heads of Government on behalf of the Republic of Azerbaijan and on my own behalf, and stress my appreciation to the initiator of today’s meeting – the Chairman of the Council of CIS Heads of Government Abdulla Nigmatovich.
The agenda of this meeting envisages the review of a wide array of issues, including economic and humanitarian interaction. Today, one of documents in discussion is the Action Plan for Implementation of Phase I of the Strategy for CIS Economic Development by 2030 which is aimed at developing the economies, broadening of trade and economic cooperation, elaborating new infrastructure projects, going economically digital as well as realizing scientific, technical and educational capacities.
Azerbaijan is driven by its interest to broaden the interaction with CIS participating States both in bilateral and multilateral formats. However, it should be stated that the comprehensive cooperation in the framework of this Council is seen impossible without the settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Dear Council members:
As known, on September 27, Armenia has resorted to another military provocation against Azerbaijan. Sitting in our occupied territories, the armed forces of Armenia has subjected the positions of the Azerbaijani Army to intensive fire using heavy artillery along all frontline coupled with shelling of living districts in frontline zone that resulted by losses among civilian population and the military. Based on international law, Azerbaijan has launched counteroffensive operations within its internationally recognized territories occupied by Armenia. In the aftermath of counterstrike operations, 4 cities, 3 towns, and over 200 living districts have rejoiced their liberation until today.
As we proceed further with the liberation of occupied territories, newer facts are emerging and proving once again the barbaric attitude to the occupied Azerbaijani lands. We will elaborate the inventory with participation of international experts to assess the prejudice on the basis of material proofs, including photo and video materials.
Long before the latest event have broken out, Azerbaijan has notified many times the international community about intentions of Armenia to stage a new war against Azerbaijan. In his interviews to various TV channels and from the UN podium, President of Azerbaijan has declared about the necessity to stop the aggressor State. During the meeting of the CIS Heads of Government on May 29, I called for immediate resolution of the conflict. However, unfortunately, our appeals and requests went unheeded.
Starting from 2018, the new military and political leadership of Armenia uses its targeted actions to fully destroy the negotiation process that are seen in statements and activities of the Armenian Prime Minister, including his attempts to alter the format of negotiations, and his statement saying that ‘Karabakh is Armenia, and full stop’, holding of reckless so-called inauguration of the head of puppet regime in the city of Shusha, his provocation such as the decision to transfer so-called parliament into Shusha, and his declaration on creating ‘volunteers’ military units, holding military exercises in the occupied territories, implementation of policies for illegal settlement of ethnic Armenians from the Middle East region, namely from Syria and Lebanon in the occupied territories.
The aim of destructive actions of the Armenian Government is to maintain the status quo in the occupied territories even ignoring the heads of State of OSCE Minsk Group co-chair countries declaring constantly on inadmissibility of status quo.
Azerbaijan, at all times, is committed to the conflict resolution behind the negotiations’ table. However, Armenia torpedoes the negotiation process by its non constructive standpoint. For instance, only for last month, this country has thrice violated blatantly the agreements on humanitarian ceasefire reached as a result of mediating efforts put by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries. It took only one single day following the agreement reached on the initiative of the President of the Russian Federation in the form of the Moscow Declaration of foreign ministers, when on night of October 11, the armed forces of Armenia has launched a missile attack on sleeping quarters of the second largest city of Azerbaijan – the city of Ganja.
The armed forces of Armenia using such prohibited weapons as cluster bombs and phosphorus ammunitions continue to constantly shell frontline regions of Azerbaijan. Missile strikers are also observed in living districts that are quite far from the theater of combat operations.
Thousands of residential houses and hundreds of civilian infrastructure facilities of Azerbaijan, including numerous schools and kindergartens, are destroyed and damaged. The target of missile attacks of the armed forces of Armenia was also the largest thermal power plant of the South Caucasus located in the city of Mingechevir.
Starting from September 27, rocket and artillery strikes of Armenia using such lethal systems as Tochka-U /SS21 Scarab/, Elbrus /SS-1C Scud-B/ and others that started both from the territory of Armenia and the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, have claimed the lives of 92 civilians, including elderly, women and 11 children. 404 civilians have sustained various injuries. Only strikes by ballistic missiles onto the city of Ganja and Barda have ended the lives of 53 civilians and injured 245 of them. Differently from Armenia, the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan do not attack civilian population and facilities. It destroys legitimate military targets only.
We urge all CIS participating countries to firmly deplore the actions of Armenia that commits war crimes against peaceful population of Azerbaijan.
For us, and I hope for all those participating at this meeting, it is clear that by shelling Azerbaijani cities from its own territory that is far from the conflict zone, Armenia tries to oblige Azerbaijan to fire back into the territory of Armenia in order to engage third countries, and particularly, the Collective Security Treat countries into the conflict by expanding the geography of military operations. I wish to underscore once again that the military actions are not conducted in the territory of Armenia, but in the internationally recognized territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
I would like to note also that the civil aviation is used to smuggle weapons into Armenia to further deliver it to the occupied territories of Azerbaijan. Such illegal actions are in full contradiction with purposes and principles of the ICAO. Also, mercenaries are brought to Armenia from various parts of the world to participate in military operations against the Azerbaijani Army.
Dear heads of government:
On October 29, using the offices of ICRC, Azerbaijan has unilaterally transferred almost 30 corpses of Armenian soldiers and officers to Armenia that are killed in the conflict zone. This became possible that to the mediation efforts of Russia. Such step is made because of humanism principles. However, Armenia has long been refusing to accept corpses of its dead.
Dear Council members:
The Azerbaijani side at all levels has consistently been declaring that Armenian and Azerbaijani communities should peacefully live in the territory of Nagorno Karabakh in the future. As the Armenians continue to live so in other living districts of Azerbaijan, including Baku where there is the Armenian community of thousands of people as it is observed in Russian and other CIS countries and the world.
We do not make a war against the Armenian people. We liberate our internationally recognized lands from the occupation. Our only aim is to fully restore the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, to liberate all territories occupied by Armenia in line with four resolutions of UN Security Council and build long lasting peace and security in the region. The recognition and respect of CIS participating countries of their territorial integrity and ensuring the inviolability of their borders are reflected in the documents of this Commonwealth, including the Alma Ata Declaration of 1991.
Addressing you from this podium, I declare that Azerbaijan has never claimed any inch of other lads. And, we will never reconcile with the occupation of any inch of our lands. This is our principled position. In this respect, we will be going until the end.
In the conclusion, I wish to thank esteemed Abdulla Nigmatovich, and particularly esteemed Sergey Nikolayevich for such an excellent organization of today’s meeting.
I am confident that the decisions adopted at today’s meeting will favor the strengthening of interaction within CIS and increasing the efficiency of our cooperation.
Thank you for attention.