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Nagorno-Karabakh conflict must be resolved now: Azerbaijan President

Aliyev said that talks would be “meaningless” unless Armenia agreed to “the return of the occupied territories to Azerbaijan"

Saturday October 3, 2020 11:32 PM, Agencies

Armenia Azerbaijan

[Image tweeted by the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Azerbaijan.]

Baku: Asserting that Azeraijan can't wait for another 30 years, President Ilham Aliyev amid renewed fighting Saturday said that his country cannot afford any more 'futile' negotiations with Armenia over the long-disputed Nagorno-Karabakh.

In an interview with Al Jazeera, aired on Saturday, Aliyev said that the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) group on Nagorno-Karabakh, co-chaired by the US, France and Russia, “has been working for 28 years to mediate a solution, but to no avail.”

"We are not in a position to listen to statements like ‘Stop it, we will work [with you], we will negotiate, we will help.’ We have heard this many times. We do not have time to wait for another 30 years", Ilham Aliyev said.

"The conflict must be resolved now", he said adding that a settlement to the conflict with neighboring Armenia must be found “as soon as possible.”

Nagorno-Karabakh is controlled by ethnic Armenians backed by Armenia and has been the subject of several United Nations resolutions calling for an end to the occupation of Azeri lands.

The region proclaimed itself independent amid a bloody war in the early 1990s against the backdrop of the breakup of the Soviet Union, and has remained closely allied with Armenia.

Russia, France and the US in a joint statement issued Thursday had called for an immediate end to the fighting and for both sides to resume talks. According to the reports French President Macron has also discussed the latest situation with Aliyev on phone.

Aliyev, however, told Al Jazeera that talks would be “meaningless” unless Armenia agreed to “the return of the occupied territories to Azerbaijan.”

Aliyev said Armenia has not been interested in peace for the past three decades, after ethnic tensions increased following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

“They want to occupy our lands forever,” he told Al Jazeera’s Koseoglu. “If Armenia demonstrated goodwill and acted in compliance with many international resolutions, the conflict would have been resolved long ago.”

On the other hand, talking to Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, said that “a ceasefire can be established only if Turkey is removed from the South Caucasus".

Pashinyan also said that “terrorists” from the Middle East are fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh “under Turkey’s sponsorship.”

Turkey however denied it has any role to play in the conflict, though it is openly supporting Azerbaijan, its long-term ally. Turkey has also time and again said that Armenian “occupiers” must withdraw.

“Superficial demands for an immediate end to hostilities and a permanent ceasefire will not be useful this time,” Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkey’s foreign minister, was quoted as saying by Turkish state-run Anadolu news agency.

 

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