Excerpt from the interview given by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Mr. Ilham Aliyev, to a series of local media on 19th of September, 2020.

- As you know, Armenia is taking actions aimed at establishing close contacts with a number of Muslim countries, which is causing a legitimately sharp reaction from the Azerbaijani public. Recently, the Egyptian leadership received the Armenian foreign minister who was on a visit to this country. To what extent does all this affect Muslim solidarity?


- It has a very negative impact. The Azerbaijani public quite rightly expresses its concern. We also express concern at the state level. As you know, Azerbaijan has always been very active in the way of Islamic solidarity. Many events have been held in our country. We have always tried to help Muslim countries. We have always defended the interests of Muslim countries in international organizations. At the same time, if a Muslim country nominated its candidacy for an international organization, we have always supported it during the voting. That is, this solidarity should be in deed, not in words. We are one of the countries that have always attached great importance to Islamic solidarity in our foreign policy. You can see this in my speeches on foreign policy. One of our main priorities is relations with Muslim countries. Because we are part of the Muslim world. The countries that support us the most at the UN are also Muslim countries. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation has always taken the right position on the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Many resolutions have been adopted, including one related to the Tovuz provocation. This is why we are always very sensitive to any rapprochement of Muslim countries with Armenia. Because Armenia has occupied our lands. At the same time, Muslim countries should know that Armenia has committed genocide against Muslim religious sites and cultural genocide in the occupied territories. Look at the state of our mosques! Don't people in Muslim countries know that Armenians keep animals, pigs and cows in our half-destroyed mosques? Isn't this an insult to the Muslim world? Therefore, officials of all Muslim countries should revive these images when shaking hands with an Armenian official whose hands are stained with the blood of the Azerbaijani people. At the same time, I am told that the Armenian foreign minister met with some religious leader in Egypt. Didn't anyone tell this religious leader that these people have desecrated Muslim mosques, insulted the entire Muslim world? We know for sure that the official representatives of Armenia, while in Europe to win a positive attitude of Europeans towards them, cite as the main argument the fact that they allegedly live in Muslim surroundings. Our three neighbors are Muslim countries. We are a people who have preserved Christianity in this region. The Muslim countries in our environment are enemies. Yes, Armenia considers Turkey and Azerbaijan its enemies. But in its relations with Iran it always hypocritically speaks of friendship. How is this possible? What kind of friendship is this? You destroy, demolish, desecrate Muslim mosques, keep cows and pigs there, offend the dignity of Muslims, and then you say let's be friends. I don’t understand such friendship. Both bilaterally and multilaterally, in official speeches, I have repeatedly addressed the leaders of Muslim countries, urging them to take this issue into account.

Let me say again that Armenia is not an ordinary country. Armenia is a country where Islamophobia is a state policy. They raise their children in the spirit of hatred for the Muslims. They want to instill this ideology in their children.

Therefore, we will stick to our principled position. We will always pay attention to this issue. I want to say to the leaders of all Muslim countries again: Armenia is not your friend. Secondly, what interests can there be in Armenia? It is a failed state. It has only one international name – a failed state. An unsuccessful country. The economy has collapsed, the market is limited, the population is shrinking, and it is not attractive for any investment. It doesn't invest in any country either. This country is a transport dead end. What interests can there be? If such steps are taken in connection with a certain situation, in spite of someone, then this is only regrettable.


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