"Baku will negotiate with candidates for Azerbaijani citizenship." Expert opinions
Relations between Baku and Karabakh Armenians
The situation around the part of Karabakh where Russian peacekeepers are temporarily stationed continues to be tense. For 13 days now, trucks with humanitarian cargo from Armenia have been standing idle near the border with Azerbaijan. Baku offers humanitarian aid to Karabakh Armenians on the way from Aghdam. Azerbaijani experts expressed their views on the regulation of relations between Baku and Khankendi (Stepanakert).
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“They try to escalate the situation in order to slam the door”
“Now Azerbaijan is offered to negotiate with a group of people from among the Karabakh Armenians, who call themselves “president”, “speaker of parliament”, “chairman of the security council”, etc.
These people receive their salaries from Yerevan and are citizens of Armenia. In other words, these are civil servants of Armenia. It is clear that Azerbaijan will not negotiate with them at the official level, especially with international mediation,” Tofig Zulfugarov, former Azerbaijani Foreign Minister, commented on the situation.
According to him, currently this “group of people are trying to escalate the situation in order to slam the door”:
“The so-called leaders of the Karabakh Armenians try to ignore the fact that this territory is an integral part of Azerbaijan and make hints at horizontal relations with Baku.
But the clock is ticking and it does not work in any way in favor of these impostors. While Russian peacekeepers are standing there, they can speak in that tone, but I wonder how their words will sound after 2025, when the RMK leaves Karabakh and they will be face to face with Azerbaijani soldiers?
It is clear that the Azerbaijani army in this case will act according to the letter of the law and stop all hostile elements on its territory.
In fact, the “leaders” of the Karabakh Armenians understand all this very well, but taking advantage of the moment, they try to escalate the situation as much as possible in order to slam the door. When their time runs out, they will leave Karabakh together. And they will go not to Russia, but somewhere to the West, they will shout about “genocide”, trying to snatch more privileges for themselves.”
Zulfugarov added that official Baku would only talk to candidates for Azerbaijani citizenship:
“Not everyone in Karabakh lives on a Yerevan salary. There are ordinary people who for decades have been building conditions for themselves to live and work. They want to stay in Karabakh and are none other than candidates for Azerbaijani citizenship. It is with them that the Azerbaijani state will talk.”
“Policy must be based on reality”
Political commentator Ilham Ismail stated that the opening of the Lachin road for humanitarian supplies from Armenia without any conditions “Armenians will immediately call a victory, and they may begin to see the possibility of achieving greater goals in the same way.” But at the same time, he stressed that the Aghdam road is not intended for any cargo from Armenia, including humanitarian:
“The conditions for using the Agdam-Khankendi road should be prepared by Azerbaijan. The state must actually provide a humanitarian cargo for the Karabakh Armenians and openly show the world that no one is going to create a humanitarian catastrophe. The concrete slabs on the road to Khankendi were laid out by the Armenians themselves. But this is the territory of Azerbaijan, and we must solve our problems ourselves.
If the other side does not accept this help and refers to some concepts such as honor and dignity, then this is no longer a problem for the Azerbaijani side. It only means that the other side does not want peace, and does not even try to hide this unwillingness.”
Ismail asserts that the majority of Karabakh Armenians do not want to live as part of Azerbaijan, but they are not preparing to leave Karabakh either:
“Therefore, it is groundless to say now that ordinary Armenians are sitting there and waiting for us. Politics must be based on realities. One of the sides of these realities is that in this sensitive period it is necessary to go out to the Karabakh Armenians with promising humanitarian projects and programs.
The sides that only yesterday were shooting at each other do not immediately develop trust, and as a rule, the defeated side has a psychological need for this trust. In this position, Azerbaijan must demonstrate its greatness, based on the fact that it is the winning side.
And then you need to put forward your requirements, but with a warning about the deadline. The Armenian armed forces must leave Karabakh, the internally displaced persons must return to their homes on conditions of ensuring security. The amnesty proposal must also remain in place. Otherwise, everyone who is wanted will face the fate of Vagif Khachatryan.”