Statement by His Excellency Mr. Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan,
at the meeting at the level of the Heads of State and Government
in the format of the NATO Resolute Support Mission
Warsaw, July 9, 2016
Mr. Secretary General,
Security and sustainable development of Afghanistan is vital for the regional and global stability.
Azerbaijan, as a reliable NATO partner and friend of Afghanistan, will continue its significant troop contribution to the Resolute Support Mission and provide a multi-modal transit.
Azerbaijan has already several times made substantial donations to the Afghanistan National Army (ANA) Trust Fund. We will continue to support this Fund financially in line with the pledges we made.
We remain committed to a long-term political partnership and a practical cooperation with Afghanistan. After conclusion of the Resolute Support Mission, we envisage contribution through the enhanced Enduring Partnership.
Azerbaijan’s contribution to the stability and development of Afghanistan goes well beyond our involvement in NATO operations. We support Afghanistan bilaterally on its path of reforms towards self-reliant future by providing practical assistance in the areas of military training, education, infrastructure, transportation, investments, and increasing the role of women in society.
Azerbaijan has made substantial financial and technical contribution to the implementation of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway project to be completed in the nearest future. This project will connect European and Asian railroads through Azerbaijan. Afghanistan can also join this vital transportation network. Construction of the biggest international trade seaport in the Caspian region in our country provides new opportunities for cooperation in Eurasia. I am sure Afghanistan will also benefit from this project. Azerbaijan-NATO partnership is based upon the principles of international law and indivisibility of security. Regretfully, there are still violations of these principles. The continued use of force against Azerbaijan by Armenia, whose armed forces occupied almost 20% of Azerbaijan’s territories, ethnically cleansed about one million Azerbaijanis, and committed war crimes, not only undermines the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan but also represents a grave threat to regional security.
For more than twenty years, Armenia refuses to implement the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council, which demand immediate, full and unconditional withdrawal of Armenian troops from Azerbaijan. We support the statements of the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group as well as the Chairman-in-Office of the OSCE saying that “status-quo is not acceptable”. Changing the status-quo means beginning of de-occupation of the territories of Azerbaijan. We appreciate the renewed commitment by NATO to support Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity, independence and sovereignty, as reiterated in Warsaw Summit Declaration.