Ilham Aliyev on the fate of Karabakh Armenians
Aliyev on the fate of Karabakh Armenians
“There will be no third invitation. Either they themselves will come to us humbly, or events will develop in a different direction,” Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said of the fate of the Armenian population of Karabakh. “We have every opportunity to carry out any operation in that region. Therefore, the “parliament” must be dissolved, the element calling itself “president” must surrender, all “ministers”, “deputies” and others must already leave their posts. Only in this case can we talk about any kind of amnesty,” he added.
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Aliyev met with the people who returned to the city of Lachin and handed them the keys to their houses.
Prior to Aliyev’s visit, the first group (20 families) of internally displaced people moved to Lachin, who left the city, occupied in 1992 during the first Karabakh war.
“The issue of territorial integrity has been finally resolved”
In a conversation with the residents of Lachin, Aliyev stated that a peace treaty should be signed between Azerbaijan and Armenia based on the principle of territorial integrity.
He also commented on the latest events that took place in the part of Karabakh where Russian peacekeepers are temporarily stationed:
“Having taken the necessary steps, we have achieved what we wanted in the territories in Karabakh, which are now under the control of the Russian peacekeeping mission. By establishing a border checkpoint on the Azerbaijani-Armenian border on April 23, we finally resolved the issue of territorial integrity.
Our territorial integrity was already restored as a result of the second Karabakh war. But the border checkpoint was the last point from which uncontrolled movement from Armenia to the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan and back was carried out. The movement is still there today, but it is under complete control.”
“There are no obstacles left to the peace treaty”
“After the end of the second Karabakh war, I said that a peace treaty between Azerbaijan and Armenia is possible only if they say: Karabakh is Azerbaijan!
Only 3-4 years ago they said “Karabakh is Armenia” and believed that they could keep our lands under occupation forever. They believed that we, Azerbaijanis, would put up with such a situation. I told you no, we won’t. And to them, and to their patrons, and to those who support them today, I said at that time that we would never reconcile. Life has shown once again: everything we say, we do.
The statement made a few days ago by the leadership of Armenia is in fact a repetition of my words said several years ago: “Karabakh is Azerbaijan!”.
And now, after Armenia has already recognized our territorial integrity, there are virtually no serious obstacles left for the peace treaty. I am sure that a peace treaty can be signed in the near future if Armenia does not again deceive and change its position again. If it is signed, it is very good, if it is not signed, in any case, the Azerbaijani state will not face any problem because of this, because we are a strong side, we have a strong position at the negotiating table, we have strong positions on the border. Even if the peace treaty is not signed, we will live in peace and security,” Aliyev said.
“The only way left is to obey the laws of Azerbaijan”
Aliyev expressed his opinion about the future fate of the Karabakh Armenians, with whose representatives official Baku held two meetings in Khojaly with the mediation of the leadership of the Russian peacekeeping contingent.
After that, the Azerbaijani authorities twice invited representatives of the Karabakh Armenians to Baku to continue negotiations, but the Armenian side refused.
“The checkpoint established on April 23 at the border should become a lesson for the Armenians living in the Karabakh region today. Unfortunately, they still rely on someone, as if someone will come and save them, someone will come and wage war with Azerbaijan. All this is nonsense.
During the second Karabakh war, we showed a strong will, and if at that time no one from outside dared to intervene against us, then today, after we again became the masters of all these lands, who will come and fight with us instead of the Armenians?
First, it’s illegal. We are on our native land, and the Karabakh region, where Armenians live today, is our ancestral land that belongs to us by right. Simply, we believe that they themselves will understand, they themselves will come and take a step in order to live under the flag of Azerbaijan. We are waiting for this. Therefore, we are not taking any other step, and I believe that the events that have taken place over the past two and a half years should awaken them, awaken them from this dream, from these dreams.
From here, from the Lachin region, which they exploited for many years and where they illegally settled, I tell them again: your book has been closed. The book “Miatsuma” was closed, separatism came to an end. Dreams of independence went the same way as status. And we sent the status to the right place during the second Karabakh war. Therefore, the only way left is to obey the laws of Azerbaijan, become loyal, normal citizens of Azerbaijan, throw their fake “state attributes” into the trash can and dissolve the “parliament”.
Allegedly, a “parliament” functions there, supposedly there is a president, a minister, all this is ridiculous. We’re just being patient. Although everyone is well aware that today we have every opportunity to carry out any operation in that region. Therefore the “parliament” must be dissolved, the element calling itself “president” must surrender, all “ministers”, “deputies” and others must already leave their posts. Only in this case can there be concessions. Only in this case can we talk about any kind of amnesty.”
“Either they themselves will come to us humbly, or events will develop in a different direction”
“I must also say that recently international organizations have actually completely agreed with our position. I already see this in various meetings. So why did you agree? Because we are right, because we do not take a step away from our position. So today no one talks about either independence or autonomy, or anything else.
It’s just that the latest messages coming to us are: what will be the fate of the “leadership” there? Are they eligible for amnesty? I’m telling you to look. First, we sent a delegation there. My representative held the first meeting with them there, after which we invited them to Baku, come and talk. They refused. After that, we invited them to Baku for the second time. That is, representatives of the Armenian minority living in Karabakh. They refused that too. There will be no third invitation. Either they themselves will humbly come to us, or events will develop in a different direction.
They can fall under amnesty only if they themselves voluntarily leave all fictitious positions and apply for Azerbaijani citizenship. And then we’ll see.”
“The delimitation of borders must take place on our terms”
Ilham Aliyev touched upon the issue of the return of Azerbaijani soldiers detained and arrested in Armenia, and on delimitation of the state border between the two neighboring countries:
“Recently, two of our soldiers, having lost their way, crossed into the territory of Armenia, where they were tortured.
I must say that after the end of the second Karabakh war, the representatives of Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed that if someone gets lost, because the probability of this is high, especially in the winter months, you yourself know that the climate here is very severe, mountains, gorges, you can get lost – if this happens, then these people should be returned within a maximum of two days.
We kept it. We detained them for a maximum of two days, interrogated them and returned them – both civilians and military. Look t what they did. First, they brutally beat our lost soldiers, put handcuffs on them, humiliated their dignity, filmed the moment of their beating. After that, they were arrested and already convicted. Where is it seen?
At a trilateral meeting in Brussels on May 14, I said that this was unacceptable. If you violate this agreement, then you yourself will pay for it. Return our troops immediately. But instead they were sentenced to 11 years. There was no court, no lawyer, no judge, no representatives of the media. What kind of court? This is lawlessness.
That’s why I say today: before it’s too late. While Armenia, although not de facto, has legal independence, while the concept of Armenia’s borders is accepted in a certain sense. They must accept our terms. They don’t want delimitation, and they don’t need to. What will happen in this case? The border will pass where we say. They know that we can do it. No one will help them, neither the French retired policemen who arrived from Europe, nor anyone else, no one.
The delimitation of borders must take place on our terms, that is, on fair terms. The peace treaty must be based on international conditions, the road to Nakhchivan must be opened, and the representatives of the Armenian army, who are still dug in in Karabakh, must be withdrawn from there. These are our conditions.
I declare these conditions here, in the city of Lachin, so that everyone can see tht today we are here and we will be here forever. Let them also know that the villages of Armenia are visible from here. We also see these villages, that is, let them not forget about this.”