Interview of the Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliyev for the correspondent of the Danish television - Lisbon, December 3, 1996

Question: Mr. President, I ask you to speak about Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict.

Answer: You know that Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict arose because of Mountainous Garabagh (Nagorno-Karabakh). Eight years ago the Republic of Armenia began this conflict. Armenia encroached the military aggression against Azerbaijan with the purpose of annexation of Mountainous Garabagh (Nagorno-Karabakh).

Mountainous Garabagh (Nagorno-Karabakh) is a small region located in the centre of Azerbaijan and its territory is four thousand square kilometers. At that time there lived about 130 thousand men, 70 percent of population were Armenians, 30 percent were Azerbaijanis. Armenia was determined to capture Mountainous Garabagh (Nagorno-Karabakh) and to annex it to itself. The conflict began because of this. After this the military operations began, blood was shed, a lot of people died. However armed forces of Armenia by virtue of different reasons have occupied a number of districts of Azerbaijan including Mountainous Garabagh (Nagorno-Karabakh). They drove out all Azerbaijanis because they have got assistance from other states. So the leadership of former Soviet Union rendered more assistance to Armenia in comparison with Azerbaijan. At present the 20 percent of the territory of Azerbaijan are under the occupation of the Armenian armed forces, more than one million Azerbaijanis were driven out from there. These people live in different regions of Azerbaijan in hard conditions, in tents. However two and a half year ago we stopped the military operations signed an agreement on regime of cease-fire and carried on peace negotiations. However these negotiations did not yield any results. We tried to get appropriate mandate in the Lisbon summit and I think that we have got it. The acting chairman of the OSCE Mr. Flavio Cotti spoke with special statement. He declared that all member-states of the OSCE support the main principles of settlement of Mountainous Garabagh (Nagorno-Karabakh) conflict. These are the following principles: territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, granting the high status of self-governing to Mountainous Garabagh (Nagorno-Karabakh) within the Azerbaijani Republic and provision of security of all population of Mountainous Garabagh (Nagorno-Karabakh). We think that these principles correspond to the principles of the OSCE. However Armenia does not accept it, whereas all members of the OSCE have declared their support of these principles, and it has found reflection in the statement of acting chairman of the OSCE. This statement was included into the main documents of the OSCE. We are satisfied with it.

Correspondent: Thank you!