Possibility of Vacating Lands around Karabagh Empty Speculation Says Azeri Analyst

BAKU (Yeni Musavat)–In an interview with Zerkalo newspaper–political analyst Vafa Quluzada–who was formerly a national advisor to Azerbaijan said that reports suggesting Armenia’s are preparing to vacate certain "occupied territories" in and around Karabagh is nothing but empty speculation–and that no such negotiations to that effect are underway.

He added that discussions on vacating certain districts has only taken place in Azerbaijan–while Armenia has not undertaken preparations to leave the territories.

Quluzada did say that Armenia might agree to vacate certain territories–but only if Azerbaijan agreed to either allow Armenia to annex Mountainous Karabagh and the Lachin District–or recognize the independence of the Mountainous Karabagh Republic.

Yeni Musavat reports that Quluzada is an experienced diplomat who has been involved in the Karabagh talks for many years–and as "one of the most competent people on the issue," his statemen’s accurately reflect the "real situation around Mountainous Karabagh."

Quluzada explains that as a result of the lack of progress in negotiations–the Azeri government began "generating" news that some of Azerbaijan’s occupied districts may be freed. "For instance–there was a report that the Turkish–Azerbaijani–and Armenian foreign ministers had recently reached a preliminary agreement that Armenia would vacate seven Azerbaijani districts," he explains–"It wasn’t long–however–before this report proved to be off mark." He said that similar accounts emerge following each and every meeting between the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia–that the liberation of five or six districts has been discussed.

Quluzada emphasizes that the liberation of Azeri territories can be realistically discussed only when Armenia is allowed to annex Mountainous Karabagh–together with the Shushi and Lachin districts. "Only against this backdrop can Armenia agree to negotiate the issue of leaving the other territories."

"The government propaganda machine–however–is trying to create the impression that thanks to the ‘successful’ policy of [Azerbaijani President] Ilham Aliyev–the situation is changing for the better and that the Armenia’s are about to agree to vacate a number of districts."

He calls the effort "primitive and futile technology" that has been exhausted–but has been redesigned to convince the public of Ilham Aliyev’s "successful Karabagh policy."

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