Azerbaijani president delivers scathing words for Minsk Group, Armenia
“I agree with the statement by [Russian] President Putin that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is now a part of history. Unfortunately, the Minsk Group did not play any role in the settlement of this conflict,” Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said at a meeting with the co-chairs of the Minsk Group in Baku on 12 December.
The OSCE Minsk Group is the only international structure that has been facilitating negotiations on the Karabakh conflict since 1992. The Minsk Group co-chairs are Russia, the USA and France. The group also includes Germany, Italy, Finland, Sweden, Turkey, Belarus and Azerbaijan and Armenia.
The meeting with Azerbaijani President Aliyev was attended by co-chairs from France and the United States, Stefan Visconti and Andrew Shofer, Russian Ambassador to Azerbaijan Mikhail Bocharnikov and Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office Andrzej Kasprzyk.
Ilham Aliyev said that there are Russian peacekeepers in the Karabakh zone and “the situation there is relatively calm.”
But at the same time, Aliyev noted “it is reported that yesterday either the Armenian militants, or those remnants that they call the ‘army of Armenia’, committed terrorist acts. This is of course worrisome.”
“It seems to me that Armenia should under no circumstances start anew. As I said at the Victory Parade [in Baku on December 10] – if Armenian fascism once again raises its head, we will crush its head with an iron fist. This time we will destroy them completely,” Aliyev said.
On the same day, December 12, the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group and other participants in the meeting went on a visit to Armenia.