05/28/2022: National Independence Day in Azerbaijan and Armenia and summons of the French Ambassador to Azerbaijan.
Two days after Georgian Independence Day, Armenia and Azerbaijan celebrated the 104th anniversary of their countries’ independence on May 28, with Azerbaijan becoming the first republic in the Muslim world on this occasion, after the disintegration of the Democratic Federative Republic of Transcaucasia. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said on this occasion: “Our independence is eternal, irreversible, unshakable! Long live strong, independent Azerbaijan! while his wife, Vice-President of the Republic specified “May Allah the Almighty protect our native Azerbaijan!“.
On this occasion, the United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken reaffirmed his commitment to support the independence and sovereignty of Azerbaijan while declaring “This year, we celebrate the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the United States and Azerbaijan. In the three decades since Azerbaijan’s independence from the Soviet Union, we have become strong partners in promoting European energy security, countering transnational threats, and promoting trade and bilateral investment. “.
On May 28, the French ambassador to Azerbaijan, Zacharie Gross, was summoned by the Azerbaijani Ministry of Foreign Affairs, following the visit of the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, to Yerevan and the province of Siounik, and his meeting with “President of Nagorno-Karabakh” Arayik Haroutiounian, considered “representative of an illegal organization in Azerbaijan“. He was thus informed that “this measure taken by the French official against the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan [was] in flagrant contradiction with French legislation and the country’s international obligations, and [was] also harmful to French-Azerbaijani relations.“. On this occasion, Anne Hidalgo said: “In 2020, Paris asked the French government to recognize the independence of the Republic of Artsakh. I am talking today with the President of Artsakh. It is up to us to help the people of Artsakh live in peace on their land and protect their threatened cultural heritage.”
05/28-30/2022: Visit of the Georgian Prime Minister to Jordan and Israel.
Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili paid an official visit to Jordan on 28 and 29 May, accompanied by Foreign Minister Ilia Darchiashvili, to meet King Abdullah II and visit the 4,000 m² of land on the banks of the Jordan which have been attributed to Georgia. The security environment of the South Caucasus and the Middle East were discussed as well as the development of bilateral relations between the two countries. The land transfer was formalized in a ceremony attended by Archpriest Andrai Jagmaidze and Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad of Jordan. Irakli Garibashvili said on this occasion: “It must be a day that all Georgians have dreamed of, because we Georgians are returning to the Holy Land after 300 years of absence“. The construction of a cultural centre and a place of baptism is planned on this site. He also met the Jordanian Orthodox Archbishop, Christophoros Attalah, as well as the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilus III.
The Georgian Prime Minister then travelled to Israel at the head of a ministerial delegation consisting of the MFA, the Minister of Defence, Juansher, Burchuladze, the head of the State Security Service, Grigol Liluashvili, the head of the government administration, Revaz Javelidze, and the ambassador to Israel, Lasha Zhvania, as June 1 marked 30 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. He met with his Israeli counterpart Naftali Bennett, who described their meeting as “friendly and productive“, Foreign Minister and Alternate Prime Minister Yair Lapid, and Knesset Speaker Mickey Levy, to develop the bilateral partnership in the fields of education, infrastructure, trade and agriculture, as well as in the field of defence and security. This visit also gave rise to a trip to the Monastery of the Cross and to the memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, Yad Vashem.
05/30/2022: Suspension of the reunification referendum with Russia in South Ossetia.
Alan Gagloev, the new “President of the Republic of South Ossetia” signed on May 30 Decree No. 315 on “modalities for further integration of the Republic of South Ossetia and the Russian Federation”. This states that “in view of the uncertainty related to the legal consequences of the question submitted to the referendum in accordance with the decree of the President of the Republic of South Ossetia of May 13, 2022 “On the calling of a referendum of the Republic of South Ossetia”, recognizing the inadmissibility of a unilateral decision on a referendum on issues affecting the rights and legitimate interests of the Russian Federation, fully supporting the initiative of the citizens of the Republic of South Ossetia on further integration of the Republic of South Ossetia and the Russian Federation“, the “Republic” resolves to “immediately conduct consultations with the Russian side […] approve the composition of the delegation of the Republic of South Ossetia for the consultations […] suspend the validity of the decree of the President of the Republic of South Ossetia of May 13, 2022 “On the convening of a referendum of the Republic of South Ossetia“.
On May 29, Alan Gagloev had met in Tskhinvali with a group of deputies on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the “Act of declaration of the independence of the Republic of South Ossetia”, a meeting during which he said “the wording of the referendum today raises questions and it is also necessary to hold appropriate consultations with the Russian side […] If the question was: “Do you agree to join the Russian Federation as a subject? then everything would be clear. But today, the wording of the referendum reads: “Are you in favor of the unification of the Republic of South Ossetia and Russia?” “. Advisor to the “president” Konstantin Kochiev also said: “We have no right to take such measures without the consent of Moscow, it is necessary to hold consultations with the Russian side and coordinate all our actions“.
Maria Zakharova, spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry, called the decision “healthy, [and] consistent with the spirit of alliance between our countries and the principle of close bilateral coordination on issues important to Russia. and South Ossetia“.
05/30/2022: Visit of the President of Armenia to Georgian leaders.
Armenian President Vahagn Katchatourian made his first bilateral visit abroad to Tbilisi on May 30, during which he met with his Georgian counterpart, Salome Zurabishvili, Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and Speaker of Parliament Shalva Papuashvili. The prospects for the development of partnerships in the fields of transport, communications and information technologies were discussed. The Georgian President said on this occasion: “The ongoing Russian aggression in Ukraine is a new challenge for everyone, as it violates all international norms and principles on which the international order and global security architecture are based. built” while the Georgian Prime Minister spoke about the Pacific Neighbourhood Initiative led by Georgia and aimed at building confidence in the South Caucasus with the participation of the three South Caucasus countries, the United States and the EU.
05/31/2022: Visit of the co-chairs of the Geneva International Discussions to Sokhoumi and Tskhinvali.
On 31 May, UN Representative Cihan Sultanoglu, Special Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office Viorel Mosanu and EU Special Representative Toivo Klaar visited Sokhoumi as part of their round of consultations aimed at to “exchange views on recent developments related to security and humanitarian issues on the ground and allow the co-chairs to gain a comprehensive understanding of participants’ positions“. They met with Abkhaz “Deputy Foreign Minister” Irakli Tuzhba, who announced the next round of talks for the current month of June, which he described as “one of the few channels of communication that still works” while by supporting the signing of a “peace treaty with Georgia, a document on international security guarantees and the non-renewal of hostilities“.
These officials travelled to Tskhinvali on June 2 where they notably met with the “State Advisor to the President of the Republic of South Ossetia”, Konstantin Kochiev, the “Deputy Plenipotentiary Representative of the President of South Ossetia for the Post-Conflict Issues”, Egor Kochiev, and “First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of South Ossetia”, Andrei Tskhovrebov. Konstantin Kocheiev thus acknowledged: “The Geneva discussions are unique, their role in building security cannot be overstated. The Geneva talks have no alternative as a negotiating platform for direct dialogue between Tbilisi and Tskhinvali” while emphasizing: “We have of course noticed the calls made by some foreign actors in Georgia for them to take advantage of the current moment to achieve their strategic goals by force, as well as the active development of Georgia’s military cooperation with foreign partners, which also increases security risks in the Caucasus region. […] At the same time, the fact that Georgia has shown some restraint and caution over the past few months gives rise to some optimism about the prospects for a constructive attitude from the participants.”
05/31/2022: Azerbaijani demonstration by relatives of human rights activists imprisoned after their expulsion from Germany.
On May 31, a dozen relatives of human rights activists imprisoned in Azerbaijan following their expulsion from Germany demonstrated in front of the German embassy before being dispersed by the police. The latter are asking for 6 of their relatives a fair and public trial and greater attention from the German authorities regarding these cases.
06/01-03/2022: Azerbaijan courted at the 27th Caspian International Oil and Gas Exhibition in Baku.
After the Teknofest aerospace and technology festival held on May 28, and for the first time in Baku, which brought together Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and which allowed Selçuk Bayraktar, head of Bayrak company, to introduce his unmanned aerial combat vehicle Bayraktar Akinci High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE), was held between June 1 and 3 the 27th Caspian International Oil and Gas Exhibition in the Azerbaijani capital.
On this occasion, Ilham Aliyev gave a speech during which he stressed “the importance of the Southern Gas Corridor [CGS] project”, playing “a major role in ensuring Europe’s energy security” by announcing the existence of “great opportunities for future expansion of this energy corridor“. He also announced, “By 2030, we have identified becoming a ‘green growth’ country and achieving a clean environment as one of our national priorities for socio-economic development“.
The Baku Energy Forum bringing together 400 participants from 20 countries with the support of the Ministry of Energy and SOCAR, kicked off on June 2 addressing global energy prospects, financing the transition to green energy, gas supply, exploration and production opportunities in the Caspian region.
On the occasion, BP Petroleum’s Executive Vice President for Production and Operations, Gordon Birrell, said: “This year we celebrate the 30th anniversary of cooperation and investment in the Azerbaijani economy. Such a long period testifies to the stability of the country’s economy. I would like to point out that we have invested in projects such as the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline, Shah Deniz oilfield and a number of others” pointing out that the stability of investments in the economy Azerbaijan was due to the development of the country’s energy infrastructure. He also announced: “We plan to reduce investments in the energy sector by up to 50% and increase them in the field of green energy by 2030“. Cooperation between BP and Azerbaijan was the subject of a meeting on June 1 between Gordon Birell accompanied by the regional president for Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, Gary Jones, with Azerbaijani Prime Minister Ali Assadov. Régis Agut, Managing Director of TotalEnergies EP Absheron, said: “This forum is becoming increasingly important to join forces for a sustainable energy supply. We remain committed to the Caspian region.“
US President Joe Biden sent a letter to the President of Azerbaijan on this occasion stating “During the 30 years of diplomatic relations we have enjoyed between the United States and the Republic of Azerbaijan, we have become strong partners in countering transnational threats, promoting energy security, and promoting bilateral trade and investment […] I want to assure you that Azerbaijan continues to have a committed partner in the United States. Around the world, we are at an important juncture to ensure our energy security, while making the investments and changes needed to meet our longer-term commitments to the clean energy transition. […] Azerbaijan is also key to realizing the immense potential of Trans-Caspian cooperation to help stabilize markets in the region and globally. And Azerbaijan plays a vital role in helping to stabilize European energy security, including through the Southern Gas Corridor and providing critical fuel supplies to Ukraine.” On May 31, the Azerbaijani President met with US Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Office of Energy Resources Laura Lochman to discuss the activity of the Southern Gas Corridor (CGS) and the diversification of gas supply to Europe .
President Ilham Aliyev also met with Serbian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Mines and Energy, Zorana Mihajlovic, who expressed the needs for diversification of her country’s energy supply. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Regional Development of the Republic of Moldova Andrei Spinu also met with Azerbaijani Economy Minister Mikayil Jabbarov to discuss the expansion of bilateral relations in the field exports, investment promotion, as well as the organization of business forums.
It should be noted that these meetings come at a time when Azerbaijan expressed on May 23 through the voice of its Minister of the Economy at the last World Economic Forum in Davos its need for greater international investment in the energy sector in order to to accelerate production and exports. He said: “Over the past few years, the [gas] sector has been seriously underinvested.” In addition, Georgia and Azerbaijan are currently subject to a growing demand for freight transit from China to Europe in order to avoid Russia, despite the underdevelopment of its infrastructure.
06/01-02/2022: Visit of the Georgian Foreign Minister to Brussels: the tense wait for EU candidate status.
As part of his visit to Brussels on June 1 and 2, relating to the country’s application for EU membership submitted on March 3, Georgian Foreign Minister Ilia Darchiashvili met with European Commissioners Adina Valean (Transport), Virginijus Sinkevicius (Environment), Janez Lenarcic (Crisis Management), Johannes Hahn (Budget and Administration), and Janusz Wojciechowski (Agriculture), as well as MEPs Marina Kaljurand and Sven Mikser. Cooperation priorities and the 2021-2027 association agenda were discussed. On June 3, issues relating to ongoing reforms were discussed between Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and European Union Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic.
EU Ambassador Karl Hartzell expressed reservations about Georgia’s bid, saying on May 30 that Georgia “could have been better prepared” for the bid which “comes at a time when the EU is increasingly concerned about the country’s current trajectory.” He said: “After an effective slowdown in the pace of reform in recent years – in part due to consecutive political crises for which all parties bear their share of responsibility – in recent months questions have been raised about the direction that Georgia is heading. […] We want Georgia to find its rightful place in Europe and in the world. […] So just help us help you! “. US State Department spokesman Ned Price said on May 31: “The United States, as a strategic partner, strongly supports the European aspirations, the European ambitions of these three countries [ Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova]. We supported them as they walked the path of independence to where they are now; and we will continue to support them as they continue on this [European] path.”
The chairman of the ruling Georgian Dream party, meanwhile, said it would be “illogical” for the EU to refuse Georgia’s candidacy, arguing that “by granting candidate status, the EU will not have to spend a single euro more on Georgia” and that “furthermore, the EU has no obligation to make a candidate country a member within a specific period after the granting of the status”.
This week has been marked in Georgia by fierce exchanges in parliament over Ukraine, with the opposition criticizing the ruling Georgian Dream party for its positions on sanctions against Russia which it refuses to join or lack of military support for Ukraine, with the prime minister replying, “Without our government, there would be a second Mariupol in Georgia [and] all these people [the opposition deputies] would be responsible for it.” […] You are bankrupt…you really have nothing” while claiming that Mikheil Saakashvili had returned to Georgia to “organize a revolution and destabilize [the] country” and accusing opposition MPs of to be “false patriots“.
Similarly, the chairman of the “Georgian Dream” party attacked the President of the Republic, Salome Zurabishvili, for her remarks on May 27, saying that she had “virtually mentioned Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali region as neighbours and talked about their sovereignty“, that she had “joined the totally unfounded campaign against the judiciary” and tried to “damage the reputation” of the judiciary, which he considered to be ” a deviation from the role of the president as guarantor of the institutions“. In her speech, the President said, “It is clear to everyone today which country threatens the sovereignty, identity and lives of its neighbours. It’s not Georgia. […] I appeal to you and propose that, as in the past we created the Georgian state together, now together we must create an equal future”. The ruling party blames her in particular for his two unauthorized trips from February 28 to March 1, to Paris and Brussels.
The initiative of the Georgian Civil Society Organizations “Take a step towards Europe!” asked Ursula von der Leyen on May 31 to support Georgia’s candidacy stating in a joint letter: “Granting candidate status would be a recognition of the European aspirations of the Georgian people and a way to accelerate progress of the country in policy areas of crucial importance. […] All living generations of Georgians, including us, representatives of civil society, are filled with hope that the outcome of the process will take Georgia one step further. closer to the European Union. […] Popular support for Georgia’s European integration remains far above the approval ratings of any political party, leader, institution or program, since the absolute majority of Georgians share the unifying conviction of being European at the core of their identity and to see their country’s destiny to join the European family of nations“. Similarly, Nika Melia, chairman of the main opposition United National Movement urged the EU to “open the door to Georgia” at the European People’s Party Congress in Rotterdam stating “We need the ‘Europe stand with us to defeat state capture, we want Europe because we dream of freedom, shared prosperity, a peaceful future” and criticizing the “current oligarchic regime”.
06/03/2022: Scheduled meeting of Deputy Prime Ministers of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia in Moscow.
The deputy prime ministers of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia planned to meet in Moscow on May 3 to discuss unblocking regional communications. This meeting followed the one held in Brussels on May 22 between the President of the European Council Charles Michel and the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents and for which a statement by Charles Michel’s spokesperson had made a point of clarifying his remarks by stating on May 31: “President Michel’s statement on the outcome of the May 22 Leaders’ meeting should not be interpreted as favouring a pre-determined outcome of the discussions one way or the other. What matters most in the end is that all issues are addressed comprehensively; this includes the rights and security of all populations. Connectivity was specifically discussed in Brussels on May 22 to advance the region’s unlocking opportunities. In this context, both parties have confirmed that there are no extraterritorial claims regarding future transport infrastructure. Speculation to the contrary is regrettable.” It was thus affirmed that “it [was] important to resolve all outstanding issues, including advancing discussions on the future peace treaty and addressing the root causes of the conflict“.
Also on May 3, Armenian Security Council Secretary Armen Grigorian and Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan received EU Representative for the South Caucasus Toivo Klaar to discuss the normalization of relations with Azerbaijan. On the same day, Artak Beglarian, “State Minister of Artsakh” said: “Given the relevance of the format of the Minsk Group co-chairs and the role of the Russian peacekeeping mission, we believe that the question of the settlement of the Karabakh conflict should not be the subject of negotiations with the European Union” and that the dialogue should not “be part of the currently complicated relations between Russia and the West” while considering that the peacekeeping mission should “stay here indefinitely, because the conflict is not resolved“. He thus announced: “We will continue to make efforts for the international recognition of the Republic of Artsakh. After the international recognition of Artsakh’s independence, it will be possible to consider the question of the republic joining Armenia” while balancing a question of “prestige, ambition” on the side Azerbaijani and a “life or death” issue on the Armenian side.
The day before, on May 2, the Secretary of the Armenian Security Council, Armen Grigorian, had said: “We continue to focus on the security of our compatriots living in Artsakh and their rights, from which the status should derive. We believe that rights and security are the status-determining issues” while responding to demands for a Zangezur Corridor in these terms: “Are we talking about a corridor or corridors? They are different things. […] A clarification was made from Brussels on the fact that there were no discussions from the point of view of a corridor logic. Our colleagues from Moscow also said the same thing. If I am not mistaken, Deputy Prime Minister Overchuk said in November that no issue was discussed in a corridor logic. Azerbaijan makes statements that do not correspond to the negotiations. […] I think that the public statements made by the Armenian side correspond to what was discussed in Brussels and to the process itself. We try to be as transparent as possible on the matter and to inform the company of what was discussed, we do not report anything else. Naturally, negotiations take place because there are disagreements. We hope it will be possible to overcome these differences through negotiation.“
On May 1, Gegham Stapanian, “Mediator of the Republic of Artsakh”, said “in the course of the discussions held with the Russian mediation, we see the term ‘Nagorno-Karabakh’, which we do not see in the discussions on the European platforms. This raises questions. […] the people of Artsakh are not the ethnic Armenian population of Karabakh, but those who formed the state of the Republic of Artsakh. The people, who created the state in 1991. […] It is very unfortunate that the voice of Artsakh is not heard as a separate party in the discussions in various places. One can count on the fingers of one hand the number of conflicts in which the person involved in the conflict is not represented in the negotiations, it is absurd, it is necessary to come to the point where the representatives of the people of Artsakh participate negotiations to decide the fate of their people“.
On May 31, the presidents of Russia and Azerbaijan, Vladimir Putin and Ilham Aliyev, spoke by telephone, “at the initiative of the Azerbaijani side” according to the Kremlin, to discuss the implementation of the trilateral agreements with Armenia, reporting on exchanges with European Council President Charles Michel in Brussels on May 22 and confirming “their mutual intention to further deepen the Russian-Azerbaijani strategic partnership“. The following day, June 1, it was Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian who met with the Russian President to discuss similar issues, before meeting with Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi on June 2 to report from the last meeting in Brussels, to exchange views on regional communications and the whole process of resolving the conflict with Azerbaijan. The Iranian President said on this occasion that “the activities of the Zionist regime [must] be faced with sensitivity and caution in order to prevent its influence in the region“.
On May 29, the Armenian Defence Ministry denounced the death of an Armenian soldier on May 28 following Azerbaijani attacks and the occupation of a 45 km² area in the Sotk-Khoznavar region since last month. recalling that of the village of Parukh, which according to him justifies “a mirror withdrawal of troops from the Armenian-Azerbaijani border and the deployment of an observation mission in the border area“. These allegations were denied by the Azerbaijani Ministry of Defence on the same day, the national border service claiming the drunkenness of the Armenian soldiers and what seems to be similar, according to their descriptions, to an internal settling of accounts in the army, and witnessing gunshots between the villages of Nerkin Hand in the province of Siounik and Razdara in the district of Zangilan. These accusations followed one another throughout the week: Azerbaijani accusations of Armenian fire in the direction of the settlement of Zivel in the Kelbajar district were denied by the Armenian side. As well as those concerning shootings in the direction of Aghdam in the district of Tovuz, and in the direction of Zaylik in the district of Kelbajar on the night of May 31 to June 1. New accusations came from the Azerbaijani side on June 3 regarding firing towards the settlements of Zaylik and Yellija in Kelbajar district, still denied by the Armenian side.
Meanwhile, anti-government protests, which began on May Day, continued in Armenia this week, led by the “Resistance” movement backed by former Armenian presidents Robert Kocharian and Serzh Sarkissian, drawing criticism from the “Human Rights Defender” Kristine Grigorian, regarding “disproportionate” police actions during the May 30 protest in which opponents attempted to enter a government administrative building and resulted in the detention of more than 100 people and in 4 injured. Protesters who also denounced on May 31 government manipulation of data related to the losses of the last “44-day war” demanded an extraordinary parliamentary session for June 3, which ultimately did not take place.
On May 28, the Armenian Foreign Ministry strongly criticized Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s remarks, which he said “once again demonstrate the unconstructive approach, the arbitrary and wrong interpretation of the agreements, as well as the pursuit aggressive and warmongering policy of the Azerbaijani side” and “seriously question the sincerity of Azerbaijan’s intentions to achieve peace in the region” while recalling that “the international mandate that the co-chairmanship of the Minsk Group of the “OSCE received in 1995 to support the comprehensive settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict does exist“. He also said, “We can present a valid document signed by the President of Azerbaijan, which states that Nagorno-Karabakh exists. This is the trilateral declaration of November 9, 2020. By signing this document, the President of Azerbaijan recognized the existence of Nagorno-Karabakh and this is an irreversible fact. […] The co-chairmanship of the OSCE Minsk Group was highlighted in the joint statement by the Prime Minister of Armenia and the President of Russia issued on April 19 this year. At the OSCE Ministerial Council summit in Stockholm in December 2021, dozens of foreign ministers stressed the exclusive role of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement process . The OSCE Minsk Group was not created by Azerbaijan, but by the international community. Therefore, Azerbaijan cannot dissolve it or consider its mission accomplished. The same international community declares today that the OSCE Minsk Group exists and, as I mentioned, it declares that there is a Nagorno-Karabakh conflict that must be resolved”.
The Azerbaijani President had, in fact, said vehemently, on the occasion of the inauguration of the first phase of the “smart city” project of the locality of Agali in the Zangilan district and his meeting with internally displaced persons on May 27: “One day after the declaration of our state independence, the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan ceded our ancient city of Yerevan to Armenia, and this was an unforgivable crime […] In November 1920, by decision of the Soviet government, our historic land of West Zangezur was separated from Azerbaijan and annexed to Armenia without any reason. […] And all the toponyms of Western Zangezur in present-day Armenia, the national composition of all the villages belonged to the Azerbaijani people. […] The situation was almost the same after modern Azerbaijan regained its independence. Because in two years, from October 1991 to 1993, Armenia committed a new act of aggression against Azerbaijan. Four months after the declaration of independence, the Armenian state committed the Khojaly Genocide against our people. Three months later, Choucha was occupied, Lachin was occupied, and in April 1993, Kelbajar was occupied. Thus, a connection was established between Armenia and Karabakh. […] Today, the power factor is in the foreground. I said that ten years ago. All my speeches are available in the media. I said that international law does not work. […] The power factor will continue to dominate the world. Recent history also shows this. Therefore, we must continue to be strong and grow stronger. Today, our economic indicators are very positive. I can say that Azerbaijan is one of the fastest growing countries in the world. […] As for the administrative territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, this name does not exist on the territory of Azerbaijan. Therefore, the word Nagorno-Karabakh is not in the lexicon of international organizations, and the recent meeting in Brussels showed it again. […] The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has been resolved and the Minsk group has completed its activities. I expressed my point of view on the Minsk group, it is not necessary to repeat it, and now we are in a post-conflict period. […] The first meeting of border commissions was held on the Azerbaijani-Armenian border on May 24. […] it automatically puts an end to the territorial claims made against Azerbaijan by the revanchist and fascist forces in Armenia. […] We said that a peace agreement should be signed between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Armenia was trying to avoid this because a peace agreement means mutual recognition of the territorial integrity of countries. But as a result, we achieved it and Azerbaijan has already defined its working group. Another critical issue is the opening of the Zangezour Corridor. Armenia has always tried to prevent this from happening. But again, look at the official statement from the Brussels meeting. It has already been determined that the railway and the highway will pass through Meghri and Zanguezour. […] If Armenia has special requirements, it should know that we can also have many requirements. Our old land of West Zanguezur is not far from here. Do we have a territorial claim against Armenia? We do not have it. But if they have a territorial claim against us, why not us too? […] After the Russo-Iranian War, Armenians were deported in large numbers from Iran and eastern Anatolia in the early 19th century and settled in Azerbaijan and Karabakh. We all know that perfectly well. As for the creation of the Autonomous Region of Nagorno-Karabakh in 1923, it had no basis. […] Why am I saying that? Because the Nazis in Armenia are still trying to revolt, and they think that if they were in power, the outcome of the war would have been different. Absolutely not! They think that if they come to power, they can get something. Absolutely not! On the contrary, they must sit down and not look in our direction if they don’t want their heads crushed again.“