“Every day an opposition leader gets arrested in Armenia in a completely unfounded manner. Has any Western country reacted to this? No! Did they condemn it? No!,” Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev says.
Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev has criticised Western countries for turning a blind eye to Armenia's crackdown on dissidents.
“Every day an opposition leader gets arrested in Armenia in a completely unfounded manner. Has any Western country reacted to this? No! Did they condemn it? No!,” he said.
“Where is the Council of Europe, which despises Azerbaijan and tries to discredit us? Why are you tight-lipped? Where is your democracy, where are your human rights? Why are you silent, the European Parliament? You consider yourself the centre of democracy in the world. Speak up, make a statement and condemn this?,” Aliyev added.
Liberation of Aghdam
In his address, Aliyev also congratulated Azerbaijanis and the people of Aghdam for the liberation of the region from Armenian occupation.
Units of the Azerbaijani army have entered the Aghdam region, a territory ceded by Armenian forces in a cease-fire agreement that ended six weeks of heavy fighting over the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan's Defence Ministry said on Friday.
Aliyev described the liberation of Aghdam as a "historic event" and said 143,000 Azerbaijanis lived there before the occupation, but that number has swelled to 203,000.
“A new era begins for Aghdam now. We will also restore the city of Aghdam. A master plan will be prepared, specialists will be involved, infrastructure projects will be implemented in a planned manner, office buildings, social facilities, roads and other necessary work will be carried out. The state will help citizens to return there,” said Aliyev.
“The liberation of Aghdam was possible as a result of the glorious military victory. If Azerbaijan had not defeated Armenia on the battlefield, Armenia would not have left our lands of its own free will.”
'Accusing Azerbaijani army of destruction, mistake'
Some western politicians’ claims against the Azerbaijani army that they “destroyed” Karabakh is a great mistake, according to the Turkish defense minister.
“These unrealistic statements are completely false evaluations. The Azerbaijani army did not do anything there against the international law,” Hulusi Akar said during his visit to the Turkish engine maker TUSAS premises in the capital Ankara.
Akar said the Azerbaijani army just liberated their own lands which had been under three-decade long occupation by Armenia.
He warned that everybody should know it and avoid making such claims and blaming the Azerbaijani army.
“Accusing the Azerbaijani army of ‘destroying’ is really great negligence, a great mistake,” Akar said, adding that liberating its lands under occupation is a “sacred duty” for a country.
Turkish soldiers to be deployed in Azerbaijan 'soon'
Akar noted that the resolution to send Turkish soldiers to Azerbaijan as part of a deal reached with Russia has been approved.
“Our preparations are completed. As a requirement of this resolution, Turkish soldiers will start their duty in Azerbaijan as soon as possible,” he added.
On Tuesday, Turkey's parliament approved the deployment of Turkish troops in Azerbaijan for a year.
Turkey and Russia have signed a memorandum of understanding to set up a joint Turkish-Russian center to monitor the Karabakh peace deal.