President Ilham Aliyev held an international conference titled, “South Caucasus: Development and Cooperation,” on April 29, 2022 in Baku, Azerbaijan, with 40 participants from 23 countries. The conference lasted over three hours, with a short introductory speech by President Aliyev, followed by lengthy replies to a dozen questions from the fawning foreign guests.
The welcoming remarks were made by Hafiz Pashayev, former Deputy Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan and Rector of the ADA University, which hosted the conference. He said that the conference was “dedicated to the Great Victory and liberation of Azerbaijani lands.” The day before the conference, the participants were taken on a tour of Fizuli and Shushi. Pashayev said: “our guests were also able to see some parts of the barbarian destruction which have been left after the Armenian occupation.”
Aliyev stated in his remarks that after “capitulating” in the 2020 war, Armenia recently accepted the “five basic principles for peace that Azerbaijan put forward.” He said that Azerbaijan lost the opportunity for peace “for thirty years because of separatism, and because of Armenian aggression…. Personally, I will never forget the atrocities and barbarism.”
Aliyev urged Armenians to “put an end to their territorial claims from Azerbaijan and Turkey…. It is important that the Armenian government and the country’s political spectrum fully understand this and stop trying to take revenge once and for all…. It is unproductive, because it will be more painful for Armenia than before…. It is absolutely irrational to put territorial claims to Turkey, which is one of the leading economies and one of the very few leading armies in the world.” Armenians must “put down all illusions.”
Aliyev even dared to warn Armenians to “put down all attempts to rebuild the army, become stronger, to have five million population which they announced as their state program, and then to take back their territories. That would be the end of their statehood officially.”
Aliyev accused Armenia of destroying “Azerbaijan’s cultural heritage and renaming all our cities, including Aghdam and Shusha.”