President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received credentials of the newly appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Netherlands Pauline Eizema.
Presenting her credentials to President Ilham Aliyev, Ambassador Pauline Eizema said:
-Your Excellency, Mr President. It is a real honor for me to be here today, and to present to you the credentials of His Majesty King of Netherlands Willem-Alexander. He asked me to convey the best wishes to you, your country and your people.
President Ilham Aliyev said:
-Welcome. It happened that your arrival to Azerbaijan almost coincided with the war. Therefore, our meeting was postponed due to the objective circumstances. I was informed that you arrived almost two months ago. So, I am sure you understand why our meeting didn’t take place earlier. But unfortunately, when our meeting was appointed I got information that parliament of your country adopted a motion-anti-Azerbaijani motion, also, anti-Turkish motion, providing the sanctions against Azerbaijan. I was informed by my assistant that during the discussions the foreign minister of the Netherlands advocated for more balanced approach. So, we appreciate that, but of course, the fact that the parliament adopts such an unbalanced and I think, unjust decision will not of course, help us to establish closer ties. First of all, I would like to say taking into account the fact that yesterday this decision was adopted, it was Armenia who attacked us. We were defending ourselves and as a result of that, we managed to liberate territories which belong to us due to the norms and principles of international law, and belong to us historically. Our fight was a fight for freedom, for liberation and it ended with the great military success and also political success. And on November 10th as you know, the trilateral statement was signed which put an end to war. Therefore, for me it was very strange that after that, after Armenia itself signed this declaration which basically is a capitulation, such a decision was adopted in a country which is situated far away from our region. As you probably know, the regional countries supported this declaration. All our neighbors expressed support to this declaration. Two of our neighbors-Russia and Turkey will be part of the operations which will provide security and safety for Azerbaijanis and Armenians. So, I think that it is more just to be on our side rather than on some other side. And also, probably, you are informed about the comments of the US State Department, which supports the ceasefire, the European Union. Therefore, I understand that parliamentarians have their own agenda, sometimes they have their own preferences, it’s understandable. I understand that the government of your country has its own position which may be different from what was adopted by the parliament, but it will be difficult to explain to our people why it happened. Therefore I think that you will have to face this situation when people will ask you why Netherlands was the first country whose parliament adopts such a decision. From practical point of view, it’s definitely that It will not have any impact on the situation on the ground. Situation now is stabilizing. Our refugees and IDPs who waited for this day for almost 30 years, are celebrating this great military and political victory and they are looking forward to see that time-table for their return. But it will take time because aggressor destroyed almost everything. And these videos are shown on our TV, this devastation probably is a unique form of brutality, vandalism, barbarism against our people, against our cultural-religious heritage, against humanity. And the way how Armenia behaved during the war, also shows their inhuman attitude of their leadership. Because attacking peaceful cities situated far away from the conflict zone by ballistic missiles, from the territory of Armenia is a war crime. Using cluster bombs and phosphorus bombs is a war crime. So, all the international media testified that and also international NGOs. So, I regret that I have to start our conversation with that but that was only due to the fact that our meeting was appointed two days ago, and the decision of your parliament was made later than that. Apart from that, what can I say? Once again, it will not be easy to explain it. It will also depend on the position of your government, of your foreign minister. We are expecting their comments on that, because my assistant told me that there have been comments during the discussion, but we expect comments now, after this decision was made. Of course, we will be expecting the comments from the European Commission. As you know, the European Commission and Azerbaijan have a very broad agenda of cooperation and two years ago we initialed “Partnership Priorities” document in Brussels which fully supports sovereignty, territorial integrity, and inviolability of international borders of Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan was fighting on its own territory, was restoring its own territorial integrity and it is in line with the UN Security Council Resolutions, with document which was initialed by the EU and Azerbaijan. I wish you pleasant time. I hope that this not very pleasant page in our history will not seriously damage our relations, but of course, it will depend on the further steps of your government and our government which will act on a corresponding way. So, welcome once again.
Ambassador Pauline Eizema said:
-Thank you very much Mr. President. As you mentioned, I arrived here on the 20th of September, one week before the conflict started again. So this was a very hectic period but also a time that allowed me to understand very well what the sources of the conflict were. And that’s something that I have engaged very closely with my capital as well. And as you mentioned, the position of my government is very balanced. And that’s something that I value greatly and that has also been the result of analysis, discussions, and a good dialogue. So, I would like to stress that again, that the position of my government is very much in line with that of the EU and it is very balanced. So, we have followed the conflict, we have seen what happened and we are always very concerned with what the conflict caused, but on both sides. So, in our system there is a difference, the government has a position, the parliament has a position and that requires a dialogue. That dialogue took place on several occasions, in which we also noted that the balanced position of the government was not always the same position as the parliament. In the recent discussion last week, between the parliament and minister these questions were also raised. And the minister both in writing and orally, has consistently said that these things that are raised are not according to the position of my government. So, sanctions, and all that are absolutely not on the cards right now, there cannot be any question over discussion about that. So, that’s something that my minister has said very clearly in parliament, but also in writing. So, I am happy that I can repeat that again here.
President Ilham Aliyev thanked for the best wishes of Willem-Alexander and asked the Ambassador to extend his greetings to the King of Netherlands.
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