President Aliyev: To change status quo, de-occupation of Azerbaijani lands must begin - UPDATE
In order to change the status quo, it is necessary to start de-occupation of Azerbaijani territories which have been under occupation for over 20 years, said Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev on June 20.
He made the remarks during a meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg.
“The topic of today’s main discussion is of course, the settlement of Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” said the president.
He expressed gratitude to President Putin for the initiative to hold the meeting, as well as Russia’s constructive role in the settlement process.
President Aliyev pointed out that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has been protracted.
“As stated by Russia and other OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs, the status quo is unacceptable,” said President Aliyev. “We fully support these statements, but in order to change the status quo, it is necessary to start de-occupation of Azerbaijani territories which have been under occupation for over 20 years.”
He noted that this issue will be discussed during the talks with Vladimir Putin.
“Hopefully, we will manage to give constructive dynamics to the negotiation process which in fact, hasn’t been conducted over the last two years,” said President Aliyev.
Russia hopes for further work with Azerbaijan in all spheres of cooperation, said Russia’s Putin.
“The problem for which we have gathered is known: it is the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict inherited from the past,” said Putin. “But I would like to take the advantage of our meeting to talk about our bilateral relations as well.”
“First of all, against the background of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, which has just wrapped up, I would like to note that due to the known reasons, unfortunately, we see a certain decline in trade turnover,” said Russia’s president.
The lower oil prices, as well as the exchange rate difference have led to the decrease of trade turnover, said Putin.
He also expressed intention to discuss the humanitarian aspects of the bilateral cooperation.
“We are aware of Azerbaijan’s care to the study of Russian language and we know how successfully the branches of our universities operate [in the country],” said Putin. “We praise all this and I hope that this work will continue in all spheres in the future.”
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