Azeri Foreign Ministry Says Karabakh Must be Part of Azerbaijan

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–A spokesman for the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry, Khazar Ibrahim, told Azerbaijan-Novosti news agency that "Azerbaijan does not trade in its land; Armenian troops must be withdrawn from the occupied regions and Azeri refugees and internally displaced persons must return to their previous homes."
"This should be followed by defining the status of Nagorno-Karabakh as part of an integral Azerbaijani republic,’ he added.
Ibrahim said a package of proposals for the peaceful settlement of the Karabakh conflict, presented to Armenian and Azeri foreign ministers in Madrid (for transmission to their presidents) contains no novelty.
"In general, the proposed principles are what the sides have been discussing within the frameworks of the so-called Prague Process," he said.
He said the bulk of peaceful conflict settlement principles have been adjusted by the sides, apart from one-the status of Nagorno-Karabakh.
A deputy speaker of Azerbaijan’s parliament, Ziafat Askerov Friday said a new war between Armenia and Azerbaijan is not being ruled out. His remarks were echoed the belligerent statemen’s made by Defense Minister Safar Abiyev last month.
Azerbaijan-Novosti news agency quoted him as saying that the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict was a matter of time.
"Azerbaijan can shift to other options at any moment to solve this problem. This is her right and no one can condemn us for it," he said.
But he added that the official Baku would prefer a peaceful solution.
"Azerbaijan has sufficient military and other resources to use force to win Nagorno-Karabakh back,’ he said.
"As long as Azerbaijani territory is occupied by Armenia, the chance of war is close to 100 percent," Defense Minister Abiyev said during a November 27 meeting in Kazakhstan of defense chiefs from ex-Soviet republics.

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