By Aisha Jabbarova
President Ilham Aliyev has said that there is a need for new approaches and new agenda in the South Caucasus region following the Second Karabakh War waged between Azerbaijan and Armenia in 2020 that radically changed the regional situation.
Aliyev made the remarks on May 20, while addressing the video conference on ‘South Caucasus: Prospects for Regional Development and Cooperation’ held by Nizami Ganjavi International Center.
Aliyev said that despite 30 years of Armenian occupation and the large-scale destruction in the formerly-occupied territories, Azerbaijan is ready “to look to the future and plan its future as part of integrated region of Southern Caucasus.”
He said Azerbaijan is ready for cooperation with Armenia.
“Azerbaijan is open for cooperation, open for planning our common future, because we are neighbors whether we like it or not. We have to live side by side, and we need to learn once again how to live side by side. It’s not easy, emotions are here, especially when Azerbaijani people visit liberated territories and see total destruction you can imagine what kind of emotions they have. But the role of politicians is to defend their agenda and to explain that only through interaction we can provide sustainable development and peace and security in the region.”
The president stressed that Azerbaijan has already made very important proposals and initiatives, which are reflected in the joint declaration of 10 November 2020, particularly with respect to opening of communications and opening new transportation corridors.
“Work has already started on implementation of this project. Azerbaijan already allocated technical and financial resources for that. And when Zangazur corridor opens, it will open new opportunities for all the countries of the region.”
Aliyev reminded that Armenia was sidelined from regional projects due to its occupation of Azerbaijan’s territories in the past three decades.
"They were deprived from the initiatives of Azerbaijan with respect to energy and transportation development, and finally, they lost the territories, which they occupied and the territories which never belonged them neither by history nor by international law.”
He added that there's big degree of mistrust, mutual accusations in the Armenian society due to the wrong policy pursued by that country’s leaders.
The conference was attended by former presidents, prime ministers, as well as high-ranking officials, well-known public and political figures, diplomats and political scientists.
The Nizami Ganjavi International Center was established at a special meeting held in Nizami Ganjavi poet's hometown of Ganja as part of the 870th anniversary of the birth of great Azerbaijani poet on 30 September 2012. Continuing its activities with the support of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, this international non-governmental organization brings together former heads of state and government, foreign ministers and prominent international scholars from more than 50 foreign countries.
The main governing body is the Board of Trustees, which consists of influential public and political figures from around the world. The board includes 18 former leaders. The center also includes 53 prominent members from 25 countries in Europe, six from three countries in the Americas, 15 from 12 countries in Asia and five from four countries in Africa.
The co-chairs of the Center are the former President of the Republic of Latvia (1999–2007), Vaira Vike-Freiberga and the former Vice-President of the World Bank (1992–2000), Dr. Ismail Serageldin.
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