foreign desk report
BAKU: The wounds of the war must be healed by political wisdom, by political will, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev said in an interview to the French Le Figaro newspaper.
“Conflict started after separatists in Nagorno-Karabakh, sponsored by nationalists in Armenia launched a secession plan to secede from Azerbaijan. And they could not do it from legal point of view at the time of the Soviet Union. So, they started pogroms in the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh and in the territory of Armenia.
The first victims of the war and clashes were Azerbaijanis from Nagorno-Karabakh. There have been 40 thousand Azerbaijanis who lived in Nagorno-Karabakh, primarily in Shusha and also in the capital Khankandi who were ethnically cleansed completely.
Then, 250 thousand Azerbaijanis who lived in Armenia, many of them were killed and all of them were ethnically cleansed, expelled. What happened in Baku, in those time which you mentioned is a dark page of our history. But, those clashes were taking place everywhere-in Erevan, in other Armenian cities, in Nagorno-Karabakh.
Therefore, this should not be a kind of a reason why people cannot reconcile. In Europe how many times France and Germany had wars? How many times you know other countries had wars? We had World War II which costed lives of 30 or 40 million people. But after twenty years, western Germany and Soviet Union became on good terms. And now nobody remembers that. This is how it should happen in the civilized world. The problem is in Armenia, they cultivate hatred.
They cultivate historical hatred against Turkey, against Azerbaijan. Former president of Armenia Kocharyan publicly said that Azerbaijanis and Armenians cannot live together. But look. How they live together for instance, in Georgia? In some Georgian villages Azerbaijanis and Armenians live side by side. In Russia it is the same. In Azerbaijan we have thousands of Armenians who live in our country.
Why it is not possible in Nagorno-Karabakh. I think that the wounds of the war must be healed by political wisdom, by political will. And after this active, hot phase of the conflict stops, both sides need to invest largely in order to do everything to heal these wounds,” the head of state said.
“We are now providing important transportation network for our partners across the Caspian in the eastern part of the Caspian Sea and Europe. Our investments in infrastructure resulted in creation of a very broad international cooperation format on transportation.
Of course, everything started with the energy infrastructure, oil and gas pipelines going through Azerbaijan already became very important source of energy security. And with respect to the oil pipelines we already transit oil from Central Asia, through Azerbaijan to Europe,” the head of state said.
“With respect to the internet connection, we invest largely into IT sector, internet penetration in Azerbaijan is about 80 percent. 80 percent of our population are internet users. And we have very developed private companies in this area.
Therefore, the company which you mentioned as far as I know is a private company, which has its own agenda, and which invested in the region. And I think their target is to implement commercially viable project. And definitely, Azerbaijan from geographical point of view and point of view of infrastructure today is very important regional actor,” the Azerbaijani president said.