of Victory

President: "We must not defend, but attack politically, from a propaganda point of view"
44 days ... Patriotic War and the Great Victory ... This victory is the brightest page in the history of Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan moved towards the victory of Karabakh step by step, overcoming a multitude of difficulties and obstacles. The Azerbaijani Army did it under the leadership of Commander-in-Chief Ilham Aliyev! History itself testifies to the extent of the work done during those 44 days – full of pride and honor.

From the first day of his election, the President of Azerbaijan made the liberation of ancient Karabakh a priority. From the day he was sworn in as President in October 2003, he stressed the importance of the unconditional liberation of our lands.

Although the road to victory in the Patriotic War took 44 days, this Victory was underpinned by years of the President's tireless, patient and perseverant struggle. This was the essence of his speeches in all meetings and international forums – both at home and abroad. In every word, the President showed that his position remained unchanged. The words and pledges made exactly 18 years ago remained unchanged until the end! Karabakh must be liberated!
"Azerbaijan will never put up with this situation, the occupation of its lands. Everyone should know that despite our adherence to peace, the fact that we do not want the war to start again and want to resolve this issue peacefully, our patience is not inexhaustible. Azerbaijan will liberate its native lands at any cost."
From the speech at the swearing-in ceremony, October 31, 2003
The President was well aware that in order to resolve this problem, first of all, it is necessary to change the approach of the international arena to the events in Karabakh, to prove who is on the side of international law and to document it. President Ilham Aliyev raised this issue during one of his first foreign visits as head of state.
As a result of this occupation, more than one million Azerbaijanis became refugees and internally displaced persons. Armenia's aggression is confirmed by four UN resolutions. The OSCE Minsk Group has made a statement in this regard. There are notes regarding this in the official documents of the Council of Europe. The international community must use its power and influence to force Armenia to withdraw from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.
World Summit on the Information Society in Geneva, 10 December 2003
It must be understood that we will never accept the independence of Karabakh or its annexation to Armenia

Interview with Figaro newspaper, 22 January 2004
17 years ago, the head of state clearly felt that Armenia would suffer a fiasco. By saying this openly, he tried to urge the neighbor to take the right path. In other words, you will be the losing side, while we will only move forward.
"It might seem that Armenia is in a more advantageous position. But this is actually not the case. If we compare Armenia and Azerbaijan today, everyone can see the difference. Azerbaijan is a completely independent country. There are no foreign military bases in its territory. It does not depend on foreign aid. Azerbaijan is developing its economy. Our budget is three times the size of Armenia's. Given its geographical and strategic position and the development of the oil sector in the country, Azerbaijan will soon become a very strong country. If we look at Armenia, we see that it is nowhere near this."

Interview with French newspaper Figaro, 22 January 2004
Azerbaijan's position is fair, time and international law are on our side. The sooner the other side understands this, the better for them.

Meeting at the French Institute of International Relations, 23 January 2004
Even when the President took first steps towards the goal, he already had clear plans as to what
should be done. Commitment to the Council of Europe not to start war was no obstacle to that.
There is a commitment, and this commitment has been made by the governments of Azerbaijan and Armenia, as well as all political parties operating in these countries. This is true and was a condition for the accession of our countries to the Council of Europe.

This is our position, and we have repeatedly stated that we intend to resolve the issue peacefully. But, of course, there must be a certain duration. In other words, we would not want this process to last forever. There is a limit to every negotiation.

Interview with journalists at Bina International Airport, 1 March 2004
In those years, there was a lot of pressure on Turkey to open the border with Armenia. At that time, the brotherly country resolutely prevented this from happening.
When I was Prime Minister, I talked about this with Mr. Erdogan in Ankara. Prime Minister Erdogan reassured me that Turkey would never open its borders with Armenia until the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict was resolved.

This is enough for me. In other words, if I have heard this word, I do not need any other explanation.

Interview with journalists at Heydar Aliyev Airport, 24 March 2004
When starting negotiations with Armenia as head of state, President Ilham Aliyev demanded that steps be taken to achieve results. This was the President's principled position. .
Negotiations can only take place around an agreed topic. If there is no subject of negotiations, we do not intend to create the image of negotiations. If Azerbaijan sees that the negotiations are unnecessary, then we will probably have to reconsider this policy.

Speech at the PACE spring session, 29 April 2004
There is a date on which the now famous expression, "Karabakh is Azerbaijan!", was said. The President said this phrase exactly 17 years ago ... He said this in the international arena and gave a clear message to Armenia and its supporters.
Azerbaijan's position is clear and has been stated many times. If you have not had the opportunity to get acquainted with these statements yet, let me remind you: Nagorno-Karabakh is the territory of Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan will never agree to the independence of Nagorno-Karabakh or to it becoming a part of Armenia. Nagorno-Karabakh belongs to Azerbaijan.

Press conference at the Palace of Europe, Strasbourg, 29 April 2004
The President always kept the option of war in mind without giving up on peace talks. He knew that Armenia would not give up its occupation anyway. From the first days of presidency, the building of a modern army was further accelerated.
I declare that the expenditures on the army will increase. We must further strengthen the material and technical base of our army. We have the opportunity to do all this.

Sometimes calls are made that there should be a compromise on this issue. There can be no compromise on the land issue. The sooner the other side understands this, the better.

Meeting with the personnel of a military unit in Ganja, 18 June 2004

Even 17 years ago, the president considered the unification of the people to be the most important factor for victory in the event of war. And we did witness how important this was during the Patriotic War.
Several factors are required to do this, and almost all of them are present in Azerbaijan. The spirit of patriotism is at a very high level. I really want our young generation to be educated in the spirit of patriotism. There is national patriotism in Azerbaijan.

Meeting with the IDPs settled in Barda district, 11 September 2004

The President often met with the IDPs displaced from their ancestral lands and ordered that new houses and buildings be constructed to improve their living conditions. At the same time, the head of state was confident that the lands would be liberated and the IDPs would return to their homes. The President said this with great hope and confidence in every meeting!
I have no doubt whatsoever that the most difficult problem – the occupation of Azerbaijani lands by Armenia – will end and we will resolve this issue positively. The Azerbaijani people are one and we will resolve this issue. You will return to your homeland, and I will go there and be with you.

Meeting with the IDPs settled in Barda district, 11 September 2004
The most important issues, the main work will begin after the liberation of our lands from occupation. As I mentioned earlier, the entire infrastructure in all the occupied territories has been destroyed. We will build new cities, create new settlements and villages, and we must be ready for that. We also know that we can only rely on our own strength, only on our own strength.

Aghdam district, 18 January 2007

The President always thought about Shusha. In most of his speeches, he said that we should liberate and return to Shusha. Although many of those hopes were dashed, the President was convinced and believed in it. The head of state also repeatedly stressed that Zangazur is the ancient and eternal land of Azerbaijan.
I have stood and will stand by what I said. In short, all seven districts must be returned unconditionally, and at the same time, Azerbaijanis must return to Nagorno-Karabakh, including Shusha.

Opening of a new settlement for the IDPs in Sabunchu district of Baku, 4 May 2007
Everyone knows that the present-day Armenia was established on ancient lands of Azerbaijan. The Iravan khanate and the Zangazur district – all these are Azerbaijani lands

Goranboy district, 20 November 2009
Armenia was increasingly committing overt provocations to disrupt the talks. In many cases, this led to collisions on the line of contact. "Shoot, Commander!" – everyone remembers the words. An Armenian military helicopter was destroyed for the first time after the First Karabakh War. Then there was the April 2016 war ... Azerbaijan showed how strong it was then.
Less than two weeks after the Paris meeting during which we agreed to reduce tensions on the line of contact, Armenia conducted large-scale exercises in the occupied Aghdam district. According to their own reports, 47,000 servicemen were deployed. There was no need for that. This was a clear provocation aimed at disrupting the negotiations. We showed restraint for several days and instructed not to react to this provocation. Because we thought that tensions should be reduced. However, the opposite side tried to attack our positions with MI-24 combat helicopters. As a result of our response, one of the helicopters was destroyed.

Interview with Russia-24 TV channel, 3 May 2015
We are fighting on our own land. If an Armenian soldier does not want to die, they should get out of Azerbaijani territory.

Security Council meeting, 2 April 2016
"Karabakh is Azerbaijan, an exclamation mark! ... This phrase of the President has become a byword in all of Azerbaijan. It also became the motto of the war for the liberation of Karabakh. Saying "Karabakh is Azerbaijan!", our heroic soldiers marched into the war of life or death!
The statement literally goes like this: "Karabakh is a part of Armenia, period." First of all, to put it mildly, this is a lie. Both the lowland and the upper parts of Karabakh are recognized by the whole world as integral parts of Azerbaijan. Armenia does not recognize this illegal entity itself. Karabakh is historical and ancient land of Azerbaijan. Therefore, Karabakh is Azerbaijan, an exclamation mark!

16th Annual Meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi, 3 October 2019
They thought that we would come to terms with this insult. They are deliberately provoking us, and they will face the bitter consequences of that.

We are on the right path. Ours is the cause of truth. We will win! Karabakh is ours! Karabakh is Azerbaijan!

Address to the nation, 27 September 2020
Every inch of the occupied lands, every city is dear to us. For me, the value of each village and city is the same as that of any other village and city. But you also know that Shusha has a special place in the hearts of the Azerbaijani people. This is our historical city, an ancient cultural center. Shusha has given the people of Azerbaijan many talented and genius people. Of course, without Shusha, our work would be incomplete.

Interview with A Haber TV channel, 16 October 2020
Sharing this good news with the people of Azerbaijan on this historic day is perhaps one of the happiest days of my life. Dear Shusha, you are free! Dear Shusha, we are back! Dear Shusha, we will revive you! Shusha is ours! Karabakh is ours! Karabakh is Azerbaijan!

Address to the people of Azerbaijan from the Alley of Martyrs, 8 November 2020
At the same time, I have visited the grave of great leader Heydar Aliyev today and paid my tribute of respect. I said in my heart that I was a lucky man to have fulfilled my father's will. We have liberated Shusha! This is a great victory! The souls of our martyrs and the Great Leader are happy today! Congratulations Azerbaijan! Congratulations, Azerbaijanis of the world!

Address to the people of Azerbaijan from the Alley of Martyrs, 8 November 2020
2020 was an unforgettable year for Azerbaijan. The historic day that seemed like a dream to everyone has come! The Azerbaijani Army under the leadership of the Commander-in-Chief liberated our cities and villages one by one. What the President said years ago came true one by one. A brief look at the recent history shows that this Victory is a well-thought-out strategic plan of President Ilham Aliyev!

Victorious Commander-in-Chief who created the strongest army of the 21st century and achieved the Great Victory!
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