Ilham Aliyev: Int’l public opinion on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict changed

Ilham Aliyev: Int’l public opinion on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict changed
# 20 July 2017 12:42 (UTC +04:00)

Despite the strenuous efforts the Armenian lobby is making, substantial progress has been made in recent years in conveying to the international community the realities of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, said Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.

The president made the remarks at the ceremony of presenting apartments to journalists on the occasion of the National Press Day in a newly built building in Baku July 20, APA reported.

The president stressed that there is a change in international public opinion on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

"We are conveying and must convey Azerbaijan's realities to the world community more widely. In this regard, I appreciate the role of the media and the work should be continued,” President Aliyev said. “Of course, I see and know—and I am happy—that we have been able to make a significant turn in respect of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The situation in the past was like this. From intergovernmental, intergovernmental and inter-state relations, everyone at my meetings with my counterparts knew and admitted that when looking at the map it was clear who was occupier and who was the victim of this occupation. However, this information almost remained in the monopoly of the political elite.”

He noted that media representatives from foreign countries either unintentionally or deliberately transmit false and distorted information about the conflict to public opinion.

“In this respect, of course, the Armenian lobby has a great role because they work every day against us and Azerbaijan is their primary target at any moment because they know that Azerbaijan is strengthening, has great opportunities, and the Azerbaijani state and people will never reconcile with this occupation and will restore their territorial integrity. Therefore, the Armenian lobby and the political figures affiliated with them, especially some so-called politicians who are financially backed by the Armenian lobby, give false information to society about Azerbaijan and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. We have been able to break this tendency,” he added.

The president said that journalists should hold on to the truth and objectivity as the principal criteria, be highly responsible, and not to come under foreign influence. He said Azerbaijan’s international influence is steadily growing, noting that the country is a center of multiculturalism.

“Azerbaijani journalism should be more patriotic and should actively work to prevent attempts to influence our country from abroad. National interests should be above all and Azerbaijan’s information space should be protected from attempts of external influence,” he added.

President Aliyev stressed that in recent years the responsibility of Azerbaijani journalists has reached a high level.

The president said that the state will spare no effort for the development of the media and will always pay attention to social problems of journalists.

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict entered its modern phase when the Armenian SRR made territorial claims against the Azerbaijani SSR in 1988.

A fierce war broke out between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. As a result of the war, Armenian armed forces occupied some 20 percent of Azerbaijani territory which includes Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent districts (Lachin, Kalbajar, Aghdam, Fuzuli, Jabrayil, Gubadli and Zangilan), and over a million Azerbaijanis became refugees and internally displaced people.

The military operations finally came to an end when Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in Bishkek in 1994.

Dealing with the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is the OSCE Minsk Group, which was created after the meeting of the CSCE (OSCE after the Budapest summit held in December 1994) Ministerial Council in Helsinki on 24 March 1992. The Group’s members include Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia, the United States, France, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Belarus, Finland and Sweden.

Besides, the OSCE Minsk Group has a co-chairmanship institution, comprised of Russian, the US and French co-chairs, which began operating in 1996.

Resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884 of the UN Security Council, which were passed in short intervals in 1993, and other resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly, PACE, OSCE, OIC, and other organizations require Armenia to unconditionally withdraw its troops from Nagorno-Karabakh.