Baku, Azerbaijan – “For Azerbaijan, this war is a war of independence,” Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said when describing their struggle against the territory occupied by Armenia.

In an interview with Russian journalist Kiselev, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev described how he assessed the tense situation in the region, and explained the issues related to the struggle they gave and the agenda. Aliyev also shared Baku’s position on the basic principles for resolving the crisis and where reconciliation should begin, his views on the red lines.

“A war of independence for the Azerbaijani people”

Lines from Aliyev’s remarks:

“Every war is brutality, loss, suffering of people, loss of loved ones, but the difference is that this war is a war of liberation for the people of Azerbaijan and a war of invasion for Armenia. It is no secret to anyone that the so-called Nagorno-Karabakh army is not in fact, and it is a fact that international mediators already know.

“The Armenian population never lived in these lands”

Today, 90 percent of the soldiers in the union called by the Armenian side are citizens of Armenia and are called up by the military branches in Armenia and sent to the occupied territories of Azerbaijan such as Agdam, Fizuli, Gabriel, Kelbajar, Kubadli, Lachin, Zangilan. The question is, what are these people doing there? Today, there are Armenian occupation forces in the internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan. And nothing can justify it, neither in terms of international law nor in terms of human morality. For 30 years, it is impossible to follow a policy that will prevent Azerbaijanis from entering the territory of their ancestors. The Armenian population never lived in these lands.

It is a different matter if everything is destroyed there and it takes a lot of time and effort to get there, but such an attitude cannot be justified in any way. For this reason, we and our soldiers are fighting and dying on the territory of Azerbaijan, and Armenian soldiers are dying on the territory that their government wants to keep under occupation.”