President Ilham Aliyev has given an interview to the Italian newspaper La Repubblica

Italy is one of the first countries involved in this work [in conquered Nagorno-Karabakh]. The first country is Turkey, the second is Italy. This is not accidental. It was our choice. I said that we will invite only companies from friendly countries to the Great Return reconstruction projects. Several Italian companies are already involved in various projects, including the creation of Victory Museums, Memorial Museums and Occupation Museums. An Italian company has already signed a contract with us to supply energy to a region.

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We mainly focused on the completion of the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline, the last part of the Southern Gas Corridor. On the last day of last year – December 31, the first gas was transported to Europe, and Italy has already begun to receive gas from Azerbaijan. As you know, the Southern Gas Corridor will supply the Italian market with 8 billion cubic meters and more. That is, this work has already been completed. Now we have to look to the future, because we have discovered new gas fields.

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Today, the European Union is very interested in our transport potential and is actively involved in this area. Because we are turning Azerbaijan into an important transport hub in Eurasia with modern infrastructure and diversified communication routes with neighbors. The European Union plans to be part of this process. We also discuss the role of the European Union in the development of the post-war period in the South Caucasus.

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Azerbaijan wants its borders to be treated with respect. After the liberation of Karabakh, we crossed our border with Armenia. We came to our border and settled there. The road between some Armenian cities passes through the territory of Azerbaijan. We began to see that this road was used for the illegal transportation of goods to Karabakh and our territory. This is unacceptable….Unfortunately, this warning was not adequately responded to. Then we had to take the second step. We prepared a diplomatic note, invited the ambassador and made it public to stop it. But, in fact, it got worse, the number of trucks going from Iran to Karabakh increased. We considered this step a blow, a deliberate disrespect.

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Let me say again that nothing good happened [in negotiations with Iran]. Therefore, first of all, we reject all accusations against Azerbaijan in connection with the return of Israel to the liberated lands. This is nonsense. This is just an excuse for the domestic audience to discredit Azerbaijan. Everyone can go and see that there is no life there. Everything is destroyed.