By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Head of Foreign Policy Department of the Presidential Administration of Azerbaijan Hikmat Hajiyev has said that Armenian troops must be withdrawn from the occupied Azerbaijani territories, as required by UN Security Council resolutions.
Hajiyev made the remarks during a video interview to Geneva Centre for Security Policy on November 22.
Speaking about the priorities of Azerbaijan’s foreign policy, Hajiyev stressed that one of the main tasks is to ensure Azerbaijan's territorial integrity and sovereignty within internationally recognized borders.
Touching upon regional threats, he informed about the military aggression of Armenia against Azerbaijan, the ethnic cleansing of the civilian population o in the occupied territories and highlighted ways to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Furthermore, he spoke about other regional risks and threats.
Pointing out the importance of developing mutually beneficial cooperation with neighboring countries and other states, and multifaceted diplomacy within the framework of international organizations, which are on the agenda of Azerbaijan's foreign policy, Hajiyev underlined the "Baku process" initiated by his country.
Commenting on multi-vector diplomacy pursued in Azerbaijan, Hajiyev said that Azerbaijan was elected a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council and the chair of the Non-Aligned Movement.
Answering the question about the system of modern international relations, Hajiyev emphasized the importance of the rule of law and respect for the norms and principles of the international law.
The conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia flared up in the late 1980s due to Armenia's territorial claims against Azerbaijan, which led to the occupation of around 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions by Armenian armed forces.
More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and nearly 1 million were displaced as a result of the war.
Large-scale hostilities ended with a Russia-brokered ceasefire in 1994 but Armenia continued the occupation in defiance of four UN Security Council resolutions calling for immediate and unconditional withdrawal of troops. Peace talks mediated by Russia, France and the U.S. within the OSCE Minsk Group have produced no tangible results so far.
Azerbaijan has many times declared its readiness to begin negotiations with Armenia to free the captives and resolve the long-standing Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz