Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev again criticized the international community on Friday for not helping his country regain control over Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenian-held territories surrounding it.
“The whole world recognizes Nagorno-Karabakh and the occupied seven districts around it as Azerbaijani territory,” the Interfax news agency quoted him as saying. “However, adequate pressure is not exerted on the occupier (Armenia) to liberate the seized Azerbaijani lands.”
Meeting with the Baku-based ambassadors of Muslim states, Aliyev cited “numerous resolutions” by the United Nations and other international bodies which he said uphold Azerbaijani sovereignty over Karabakh. “They remain on paper and this is a manifestation of double standards,” he said.
By contrast, Aliyev praised the Islamic world for supporting Azerbaijan in the Karabakh conflict. “Muslim countries’ support for Azerbaijan on the issue of the Karabakh settlement is very significant to us,” he said.
The Azerbaijani leader has repeatedly hailed Muslim support for his country in the past. Last year, he singled out a declaration adopted by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) at a 2016 summit in Istanbul.
The declaration branded the predominantly Christian Armenia an “aggressor” and called for more “coercive” measures that would help Azerbaijan restore control over Karabakh.
Yerevan responded by accusing the Islamic bloc of “completely distorting the essence of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.” It has said all along that the unresolved dispute is not a religious one.
Armenia maintains cordial relations with some OIC member states, notably Iran.