Bigger countries ignore international law, says President Aliyev

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 17: Countries that demand justice, and rightly so, must secure this themselves, said Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev.

Aliyev pointed out that he had repeatedly stressed that international law does not work.

“These mechanisms are deployed only for the weaker countries. Bigger states ignore them. For them, it is as if law is not law, international law is not law. Under such circumstances, countries that demand justice, and rightly so, must secure this justice themselves,” he said in a recent interview with Azerbaijan’s local TV channels, focusing on the Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict.

A copy of the interview was made available by Azerbaijan’s embassy in Malaysia.

The president said that guided by this principle, his country had worked hard in recent years and “ restored justice ourselves”.

“Therefore, it is also important from this point of view, because our faith in justice has been restored. In other words, we all saw that, yes, justice has prevailed, we have completed our just cause and restored justice ourselves,” he said.

Relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia have been tense since 1991 due to the dispute over  Nagorno-Karabakh – a territory internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan – and seven adjacent regions.

Azerbaijan liberated most of its occupied areas following the Second Karabakh War in September 2020. The war ended with a Russian-brokered peace agreement between Azerbaijan and Armenia, opening the door to normalisation.

In September 2023, the Azerbaijani army initiated an anti-terrorism operation in Karabakh to establish constitutional order, after which illegal separatist forces in the region surrendered.

“Of course, we are all happy to have seen and experienced these historic days, and this historic victory will remain forever in the history of the people and state of Azerbaijan,” he said.

Aliyev said that unfortunately, key players of the international community did not share his country’s opinion.

“On the contrary, they tried to blame us and to engage various pressure mechanisms against us. In other words, we achieved this justice by waging political and diplomatic war at the international level. Therefore, our victory is even more important,” he said.

The president was also asked that recently there have been a growing number of anti-Azerbaijani statements by French officials.

Aliyev said that as for the current situation, there was certainly a period of tension after the Second Karabakh War.

“France had openly started to engage in anti-Azerbaijani activities without disguising itself under any other factors. There have been attempts to adopt a resolution and subsequently sanctions against Azerbaijan at the UN Security Council. I believe at least five times such attempts were made and they ended in a complete failure all five times because we received the support of many countries and they could not garner the necessary support to have this resolution adopted,” he said.