Italian media outlets Il Giornale, Faro di Roma, Agenzia Nova and MSN Notizie published articles on the views of President Ilham Aliyev at the international conference “A new look at the South Caucasus: post-conflict development and cooperation” held at ADA Universityon on April 13, APA reports.
The articles reads that the conference lasted more than three hours and was attended by representatives of think tanks from 15 countries, including Italy.
It is reported that the President of Azerbaijan, answering the questions of Italian researchers participating in the event, said, “Italy is a very close friend and partner for us. I remember well my state visit to Italy last year. As you know, before that, the President of Italy, Mr. Mattarella, paid a state visit to Azerbaijan, and my visit was a continuation of the strategic dialogue. We have signed a document on strategic partnership. By the way, it was the second. The first was signed a few years ago. This really demonstrates our mutual commitment. And also, as you correctly mentioned we are very grateful to Italy for their straightforward, just approach with respect to the resolution of the conflict, which we know that was not easy to articulate, especially in the European Union family, where there are very strong, powerful Armenian supporters who always tried to put on the same scale the victim of occupation and the occupational forces. So, that was really very important sign of cooperation.”
The articles also refer to the views of President Ilham Aliyev and emphasize that Azerbaijani-Italian cooperation was tested during and after the war. “Our political relations are excellent. We continue strong cooperation and this cooperation was already tested during the conflict and in post war period. The visit of Italian delegation to the liberated territories is considered by us as another sign of support. from the very first days of our plans for reconstruction we invited Italian companies.We had previous contacts, because Italian companies implemented big projects here, in petrochemicals, refinery, construction, and architectural projects. They already started and we want to expand the presence of Italian companies. As I said, after war we will invite the companies from friendly countries. And this is natural, because the period of war was a kind of clear indicator for us who is who. But the war made everything clear.”
The articles (Il Giornale, MSN Notizie) also emphasize that one of the main topics discussed at the conference was the demining of the liberated areas. According to President Ilham Aliyev, the biggest problem in returning IDPs to their homes is mines, and Armenia does not provide mine maps. The articles note that the number of “silent massacres” as a result of landmines planted by Armenia proves that the Azerbaijani side is right. From December to mid-March, more than 17,000 explosives were defused, and 20 dead and 85 wounded were registered among both military and civilian Azerbaijanis from mid-November to early April.
The articles say that demining the liberated areas is a difficult process, and that Azerbaijan needs to acquire the special equipment and stress the importance of Italy’s assistance in this matter.
Source: Azeri-Press News Agency