Ilham Aliyev addressed the nation
Nationwide address of President Ilham Aliyev
My fellow countrymen!
Today, the city of Jabrayil and nine villages of Jabrayil district have been liberated from occupation. I cordially congratulate the people of Azerbaijan on this historic event.
I sincerely congratulate all our soldiers and officers who took an active part in the liberation of Jabrayil District and other occupied territories. Thanks to their heroism and courage, our native lands have returned to us today. May Allah rest in peace all our martyrs who perished in these bloody battles. May Allah send healing to our wounded soldiers.
After many years, the city of Jabrayil has been liberated. Jabrayil is ours!
Four years ago, the reconstruction of the village of Jojug Marjanly in Jabrayil district began. The heights liberated as a result of a successful operation allowed the residents to return to Jojug Marjanly in Jabrayil district. We have built a beautiful town there. I said during settlement’s inauguration that Jojug Marjanly is a symbol of our unwavering determination. Jojug Marjanly shows that the Azerbaijani people will never put up with the occupation, and our return to other occupied lands began with Jojug Marjanly. I think that the liberation of most of Jabrayil district and the city of Jabrayil today is of particular importance.
As you know, Azerbaijan has been fighting again to restore its territorial integrity for a week now. On the battlefield, our soldiers and officers show heroism, inflict crushing blows on the enemy. They have shown the enemy its place and driven them from our lands at the cost of their lives. This glorious mission will find its rightful place in history.
Today we are writing a new history of our people and state, a glorious history. We are restoring historical justice today because the land of Karabakh is our ancient historical land. The people of Azerbaijan have lived, created and built on these lands for centuries. But for many years, for almost 30 years, Armenian executioners have occupied our lands, destroyed all our historical, religious and cultural sites.
We will restore all our cities. We will restore all our mosques destroyed by the Armenians. Life will return to these places. We have put an end to Armenians" attempts to change our historical names and falsify history to erase the historical and cultural heritage of the Azerbaijani people. The historical names of our settlements are being restored, and this will continue.
We are fighting on our lands. Our territorial integrity must be restored, and we are on the right path. Our soldiers are saviors because they are liberating their native land from invaders.
Today, the people of Jabrayil, of course, are happy, as indeed are all the people of Azerbaijan. Yesterday, our ancient settlement, the Sugovushan settlement, was liberated from occupation. Azerbaijani people celebrated this historic event, congratulated each other and could not hold back their tears. These were the tears of joy. Azerbaijan shed tears in the early 1990s, but those were tears of defeat, tears of tragedy.
Today, the people of Azerbaijan are happy. I want to list the names of the settlements liberated today for Jabrayil residents and the people of Azerbaijan. Today, the glorious Azerbaijani Army liberated the following residential areas: Jabrayil city, and the villages of Karkhulu, Shukurbayli, Yukhari Maralyan, Charakan, Dashkasan, Horovlu, Dejal, Mahmudlu and Jafarabad.
I am appealing to the residents of these villages. Your long wait is coming to an end, and let all our other refugees and IDPs know that we will return them to their ancestral lands. Your return is backed by force! We wanted this issue to be resolved through negotiations, and we were patient. We have always been fair in the negotiations. We wanted what is ours. We have never set our eyes on anyone else"s lands. But we have always said that they are ours, they belong to our people, and they must return to us, they must return through negotiations. But these talks have, in fact, led to the freezing of the conflict – it was calculated in advance. Can negotiations go on for 30 years? How can the Azerbaijani people be kept in such a situation for 30 years? For 30 years, we have lived with hopes that the international community will resolve this issue. Countries and international organizations involved in resolving this issue will have their say.
We were told that the world"s highest international body, the UN Security Council, will work to implement its resolutions. These resolutions have been on paper for 27 years. For 27 years, we have shown a constructive position, a fair position at all times – in all phases of negotiations. But what did we see in return? The aggressor became even more impudent. The aggressor"s appetite grew even more as they set their sights on our ancestral lands. As a result, all the occupied lands were attributed to the so-called "Nagorno-Karabakh republic", new maps were published, and all the occupied territories were portrayed as Nagorno-Karabakh. What happened after that? They stated that they would not return an inch of the lands to Azerbaijan.
We have been saying that this, after all, is contrary to the subject of negotiations. In the talks, our main hope was that the occupied lands were supposed to be gradually returned to Azerbaijan. We also agreed to a return in phases and peacefully. Let five districts be returned in the first phase, two in the second phase, then let the Azerbaijanis return to Nagorno-Karabakh, return to Shusha, and then let the Azerbaijani and Armenian peoples live together as we once did. It is a fair position. This position complies with all the norms of international law. What did we want? We wanted this much, we have been, and we are entitled to that. But what did we see? We saw that they want to break the will of the Azerbaijani people. We realized that a new war is being waged against us, that we are being threatened with a new war. We saw that in July, for no apparent reason, our city of Tovuz and other settlements came under fire; our servicemen and one civilian were killed. We saw that a subversion group was sent in August and the head of that group was detained. Now he is testifying and saying that he was sent to commit acts of terror. Is this a commitment to the negotiation process?
Then, Armenia"s prime minister makes ridiculous statements, falsifies history, and tries to deceive his people and the international community. A year ago, he torpedoed the whole negotiation process by saying that "Karabakh is Armenia, full stop", making it meaningless. Attempts to change the talks" format, the claims that "Azerbaijan must negotiate with the so-called puppet junta" completely contradict the negotiations. Did he get an adequate response? I have repeatedly told Minsk Group co-chairs, the co-chairs" ambassadors, other international organizations and the European Union to influence Armenia, to impose sanctions and put pressure on it - that this cannot be condoned. If there is no intense pressure, Armenia will become even more impudent, even more, impertinent and start making new claims. They did not listen to me. I wanted this issue to be resolved peacefully. They did not listen to me. Did they think that the Azerbaijani people and I, the President of Azerbaijan, would put up with this situation? They thought that the Armenians would trample our sacred city of Shusha, and I would put up with that? Are we supposed to negotiate with the Armenian executioners who have undermined Azerbaijani people"s history? The Azerbaijani people were insulted when the head of the so-called regime held a "swearing-in ceremony" in Shusha. Let us see now where he will hold the swearing-in ceremony. This time around, it will be a funeral ceremony! He has escaped for now and went into hiding like a mouse. Come on out! Armenia"s prime minister dances in Shusha, on the Jidir plain, and thinks that we will put up with that? They are wrong! We will never put up with that. What is the aim of moving the parliament of the so-called "Nagorno-Karabakh republic" to Shusha? Again, it is an attempt to insult the Azerbaijani people. What about building a new road from Armenia to Jabrayil? That means that there will be an illegal settlement.
Armenians are already being brought from Lebanon and other places and are resettled in our ancient city Shusha. It is shown on television in violation of international conventions, in violation of the Geneva Convention. Has anyone reprimanded them, even a word? I have asked all our foreign diplomatic missions to raise the issue, tell the UN, the OSCE, the European Union, other organizations that it is illegal! The illegal settlement is a crime! Was there a reaction to that? Did the Minsk Group make a statement? It did not! Did the European Union make one? It did not! They said that we are not interested in that. If they are not interested, then remain uninterested now. Why are you raising a hue and cry then? What are these tricks for? There are slandering against Azerbaijan. Some countries, European countries, are accusing us. Let them go and look in the mirror. These accusations are groundless. Some claim that they will not allow Azerbaijan to conquer Nagorno-Karabakh. Nagorno-Karabakh is ours, it is our land, we must return there, we are returning there, and the return will continue!
Therefore, the first culprit under the current circumstances is the Armenian leadership. In the meantime, there are circles in certain countries that are indifferent to this issue, always supporting Armenia and perpetuating this occupation. Azerbaijan is resolving this issue on its own and I told Armenia before the events of 27 September – let us fight one on one. Let us see who is who! So what happened now? Pashinyan calls one world leader a day. Every day! I did not call anyone. I did not call any world leader. I had contacts, and they called me. There is no world leader whom he would not call, beg, send an emissary, implore and kneel to. It is the end of it. Had he decently spoken to us, had he not desecrated our sacred city, of course, we would live with the hope that this could be resolved through negotiations. But every step was a provocation, every step was an insult, and he thought that we would tolerate that? Now we have shown who is who. They are the dogs that we are chasing down! Azerbaijani soldiers chase them down like they were dogs! The Azerbaijani flag is being raised in the occupied territories! Azerbaijani soldiers are standing in Armenians’ trenches! Their posts are in our hands! We are driving their tanks! Their other weapons, their trucks are in our possession! We are fulfilling our salvation mission, and we will complete it!
Let Armenia"s leadership think twice before it is too late. He put forward seven conditions to us. Who are you to put forward the condition? Let us see your conditions now! You fall to your knees, begging for a ceasefire. The ceasefire was restored for two years at the request of Armenia"s prime minister. He told me that his country"s situation was difficult, that he was being pressured here and there, and asked me for some time to solve this problem because he had some new ideas. He said he had crossed out everything that happened in the past, asked for a chance, for some time. I said, alright. But what happened next? A year later, he said that "Karabakh is Armenia". Let him say that "Karabakh is Armenia" now.
The calls I have been receiving and the conversations I have been having are, of course, confidential. In some cases, they are asking me about our condition. My condition is the same – leave our lands, leave them to stop the confrontation - not just statements but actions. Let him say that he recognizes Azerbaijan"s territorial integrity, as stated in the fundamental principles. Let him say that he will withdraw his troops from the occupied territories, as stated in the fundamental principles. Let him say that he apologizes to the Azerbaijani people and say that Karabakh is not Armenia. The last condition is to give us a timetable for the Armenian armed forces" withdrawal from the occupied territories.
Then, of course, we will restore the ceasefire. It is difficult to do so while fierce battles are underway because if we stop, they will not stop. But at least we could work on that. But requests to stop and give them some time… Why would we do that? Give them time to gather strength? Give them time to attack us again? Do they really think we are that naive? Give them time to come to the talks. I said what I needed, and that is all.
Today, the liberation of Jabrayil from occupation should be a lesson to Armenia and its benefactors. I said before the events. He committed a provocation there, we taught him a lesson, but it was not learned. He committed a provocation here. We taught him another lesson, but alas. Finally, this time he committed yet another provocation, we taught him yet another lesson, and it was learned this time around.
We side with justice. We live through the most glorious moments of history. The Azerbaijani people are ancient. There have been many glorious moments, events and victories in our history. Today"s events have a special place among them. We are restoring justice, restoring our territorial integrity, fulfilling the hopes of the Azerbaijani people and will continue to do so. We are right and we will be victorious! Karabakh is ours! Karabakh is Azerbaijan!