AzTV Baku, Azerbaijan
Dec 31 2011

Azeri leader vows to restore full sovereignty, beef up military strength

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has again reiterated country's
determination to restore full sovereignty over the
internationally-recognized territories. Karabakh is internationally
recognized as the territory of Azerbaijan. The conflict must be
resolved on these principles, he went on to say. "The territorial
integrity of our country must be restored. The occupying forces must
withdraw from all the occupied lands," the president of Azerbaijan
said in his New Year address. Aliyev also promised to continue
military beef up and purchase state-of-the-art weapons. Subheadings
have been inserted editorially:

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has vowed to continue diplomatic,
political and military efforts for the resolution of the
long-drawn-out Karabakh conflict and have the country's territorial
integrity restored.

Territorial integrity is a must

He said: "What concerns us most is the unresolved Armenian-Azerbaijani
Nagornyy Karabakh conflict. Azerbaijan has always, especially over the
recent period, stepped up its efforts. But, as you know, the
resolution of this issue does not only dependent on us. Unfortunately,
the unconstructive position of Armenia, its hypocrisy demonstrated in
the negotiations process, the actual refusal from the talks dealt a
big blow to the process. Unfortunately, the international community
and the parties directly involved in the matter still do not speak
openly and unequivocally, who is to blame for violations of the

"There are positive statements. We hear those statements, support
them. In particular, what turned out to be new this year was that the
co-chair countries have repeatedly made statements about the
unacceptability of the status quo. We support these statements.
However, concrete steps must come after statements. Unfortunately,
these steps are not being taken. We will continue our diplomatic and
political efforts. We have a fundamental position in the negotiations.
We will not step back from this position. Nagornyy Karabakh is a
primordial, historical Azerbaijani lands.

"The international community, the United Nations recognize and support
the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. Nagornyy Karabakh is
internationally recognized as the territory of Azerbaijan. The
conflict must be resolved on these principles. The territorial
integrity of our country must be restored. The occupying forces must
withdraw from all the occupied lands. Azerbaijani citizens must return
to all the occupied territories, including Nagornyy Karabakh, Susa.
Only after this can long-term peace be achieved. We can never allow a
second contrived Armenian state be created on the native Azerbaijani
lands for the second time. This is our principled position. I am
reiterating, this position is based both on history and the law and

New weapons to be purchased

The president of Azerbaijan also pledged to go ahead with acquisition
of state-of-the-art weapons and also step up the opportunities of the
newly-established domestic military industry: "Along with this, like
in economy, we are implementing radical reforms in the military
sphere. Our military power, military capabilities are growing. In
2011, our military spending exceeded 3bn dollars. It is more than all
the expenses of Armenia. Next year, the military spending will rise
again. The state-of-the-art weapons, military hardware, combat
aircraft and helicopters and ammunition are imported and will be

"Along with this, the Ministry of Defence Industry of Azerbaijan, set
up several years ago, already produces 600 types of military products.
We will continue to attach efforts to beef up our military
capabilities. Today, the military potential of Azerbaijan allows us to
liberate our native lands from invaders by any means. Simply, our
hopes for the talks have not yet exhausted and these negotiations have
to continue."

Energy sector

Aliyev also saluted achievement in the energy sector in 2011. He said:
"In 2011, great successes were achieved in very important for our
country energy sector. Azerbaijan has managed to consolidate its
positions. At the beginning of the year, the European Union and
Azerbaijan signed a very important declaration on strategic energy
cooperation. Azerbaijan has already been recognized as a country that
is able to provide Europe with energy resources, particularly natural
gas. Our opportunities are growing."

UN Security Council non-permanent seat historic win

The president termed Azerbaijan's win of the non-permanent seat of the
UN Security Council as an important event and a great historic
victory: "The year 2011 marked a very important event for our country.
Azerbaijan was for the first time elected a member of the Security
Council of the United Nations. This is a great historic victory. I
think this is our biggest win over 20 years of independence period. In
the hard struggle, we managed to win the confidence of the entire
world community. From the first to the last round, Azerbaijan led in
the voting. In the end, 155 countries cast their votes to Azerbaijan,
they believed in Azerbaijan, supported our policies. Azerbaijan enjoys
great confidence. Our policy is supported since it is based on
justice. Our policy is an independent policy. Over the past eight
years, I have repeatedly said that Azerbaijan has pursued an
independent policy. Azerbaijan has its own way."

[translated from Azeri]