Karabakh Official Responds to Baku Allegations on PKK Bases

YEREVAN (Combined Sources)–Azeri Deputy Foreign Minister Araz Azimov’s statemen’s that an anti-terrorist operation should target PKK bases in Karabakh went beyond all accessible norms, said the Chairman of the Nagorno-Karabakh National Assembly Committee on External Affairs Vahram Atanesyan on Thursday.
Azeri authorities are attempting to mislead Turkey and the international community with these statemen’s, Atanesyan said. The fact that these statemen’s coincide with some recent Turkish media publications is highly suspect, he added. Atanesyan went on to add that Azerbaijani Special forces are fabricating these claims "to compel Ankara to take a tougher stand on the Karabakh settlement." They seek to add further tension to Armenian-Turkish relations, he said.
"Instead of making irresponsible statemen’s, Azimov should inform the public about the growing number of reports about the unprecedented activation of the Kurdish factor in Nakhijevan and Geranboy region," he said.
Kurdish forces have been traditionally supplied weapons through Azerbaijan, Atanesyan said, adding that one of the most prominent leaders of the Kurdish movement, Mustafa Barzana used to live in Azeri Lenkoran. "We advise Mr. Azimov to search for Kurdish militants in Azerbaijan and carry out operations there," Atanesyan remarked.
On December 10, Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister Araz Azimov told reporters in Baku that his country "is ready for an anti-terrorist operation" in Nagorno Karabakh.
Azeri Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov told journalists Thursday "Official Baku is ready to provide autonomy to Nagorno-Karabakh within the Republic of Azerbaijan,"
"We see no problem with providing autonomy to Nagorno-Karabakh," he said.
"However, it does not mean that the territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan must not be maintained and the occupied Azerbaijani territories must not be liberated."
The Minister said official Baku views the recent suggestions of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs as normal. At the same time, Mammadyarov noted that these suggestions "do not provide the basis for the recurrent meeting of the Presidents."
Commenting on a package of proposals on the basic principles for the peaceful settlement of the conflict, transmitted to the sides by the OSCE Minsk Group, the minister said Baku’s reaction is "normal."
But he said the "the proposals do not suggest that Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents should have another meeting." He said the official Baku is for continuation of the so-called Prague Process.
The Foreign Minister said Azerbaijan stands for the continuation of the Prague process.
International peace brokers from the OSCE Minsk Group will visit Armenia and Azerbaijan next January.
A spokesman for Armenian foreign affairs ministry, Vladimir Karapetian, told Armenpress that the visit of the Russian, American and French co-chairs is not expected this month.
He said the cochairmen will come to gauge the response of Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders to a package of their proposals for peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The package of proposals was delivered to Armenian and Azeri foreign ministers in Madrid.

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