Aliyev-Pashinyan Discussion in Munich Resulted in Mutual Reproaches

Baku / 15.02.20 / Turan: The 45-minute discussion between the leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia at the Munich Security Conference on the evening of February 15 was hardly constructive.

Both leaders spoke in an aggressive, offensive style, blaming each other.

The first word was given to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, who touched on the history of the region and emphasized that Karabakh is a historical region of Azerbaijan. As for the conflict, it can be resolved only within the framework of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.

Pashinyan replied that Karabakh has no relation to the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.

The moderator tried to defuse the situation and asked both sides the question: what do they expect from the international community for a peaceful settlement of the conflict?

Pashinyan expressed hope that he hopes for efforts that exclude a military solution to the conflict. He also responded to Aliyev’s remark that the Armenians committed genocide in Khojaly, killing more than 600 peaceful Azerbaijanis. Pashinyan referred to an interview with ex-President of Azerbaijan Ayaz Mutalibov, who allegedly said that this was the work of the Azerbaijanis themselves.

Aliyev categorically rejected this allegation, citing numerous documents, as well as statements by international organizations that condemned the Armenian side for this crime. As for Mutalibov, he has already denied the words ascribed to him dozens of times, Aliyev noted.

He called on the international community to exert pressure on Armenia to renounce the occupation of Azerbaijani territories and take a constructive position.

Answering a question from the audience, Aliyev made it clear that Azerbaijan will use its right to liberate the occupied lands if it is not possible to agree peacefully.

Pashinyan reiterated his thesis that a solution should suit three parties — Armenia, Karabakh and Azerbaijan and that a military solution is impossible.

He further called on Azerbaijan to take small steps to meet each other in order to restore confidence and move on, rather than blaming each other.

He also called on Aliyev to speak directly with the “Karabakh people”.

To this, Aliyev replied that Azerbaijan would speak with the “Karabakh people” as soon as Armenia withdraws its troops and liberates the occupied lands.

He also rejected the claims of the Armenian side that Nagorno-Karabakh is a party to the conflict. The parties to the conflict are Azerbaijan and Armenia, and the Armenian and Azerbaijani communities are interested parties, which is recorded in the documents of the OSCE Minsk Group, he noted.

When asked from the audience how a peaceful settlement is seen, Aliyev noted a phased option, when the occupied territories are liberated, Armenian troops are withdrawn, relations normalize, and the status of Nagorno-Karabakh is decided later.

To this, Pashinyan said the territories around Karabakh are a "security zone" and the Armenian side cannot "give them away so easily."

When the moderator gave the last word to the parties, Aliyev addressed Pashinyan, saying: “When you say that the Armenians in Karabakh proclaimed their independent state, I want to remind you that the Armenians have already proclaimed their state in Armenia. If the Armenians want to have another state, then proclaim it wherever you want, but not in Azerbaijan.”

Pashinyan replied that even 400 years BC there were only "two nations - Armenians and Georgians" in this region, but "there were no Azerbaijanis here."

During the debate, Aliyev also pointed out Pashinyan’s misinterpretation of UN Security Council resolutions, stressing that they require the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Armenian troops from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan. -02B-


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