Aliyev calls for gradual settlement of conflict with Armenia

ITAR-TASS News Agency
April 29, 2004 Thursday

Aliyev calls for gradual settlement of conflict with Armenia

By Yuri Ulyanovsky


Azerbaijani President Ilkham Aliyev favoured the settlement of the
conflict with Armenia on a gradual basis.

The first step is “to withdraw Armenian troops from the seven
districts of Azerbaijan” that are not part of Nagorno-Karabakh,
Aliyev said.

Speaking at the PACE spring session on Thursday, the Azerbaijani
president said this initiative has become an important step towards
strengthening trust. This idea has been discussed by Europarliament
and other European structures and supported by them, he added.

“It is inadmissible when one of the Council of Europe countries is
occupying part of another country, which is also a CE member. Armenia
will win nothing neither in an economic nor moral aspect. This only
can infringe upon Armenia’s prestige at the international arena. I
believe that Armenian leaders are beginning to understand this,” the
Azerbaijani leader stressed.

At the same time, Aliyev pointed out that Azerbaijan will never agree
to develop economic cooperation with Armenia till Armenian troops are
not withdrawn from these districts. “Azerbaijan cannot cooperate with
a country that occupies part of its territories,” Aliyev emphasised.