‘No One Can Go to Karabakh without Baku’s Consent,’ Says Aliyev

Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev
Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev

Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev

A recent visit by Armenia’s Foreign Minister Ara Aivazyan to Artsakh, where he met with his counterpart, the newly appointed David Babayan, has angered Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, who, once again, threatened the security of Armenia and Artsakh and declared that “no one can go to Karabakh with Baku’s consent,” reported the Turan news agency.

“Let the lessons of the war not be forgotten. These visits must end,” said Aliyev on Thursday, referring to Aivazyan’s trip to Artsakh. “We warn you that an end must be put to these provocations, otherwise Armenia will regret it.”

“All this must be put to an end, and no foreigner can enter there without our permission—no organization except for the Red Cross. This is our internationally recognized territory. Who is the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia to travel there? This time we issue a warning. Next time our response will be very tough,” Aliyev said.

He also criticized the activities of the Russian peacekeepers who, he said, have allowed foreigners to enter Karabakh. “We set before the peacekeepers the task of not allowing foreigners into the region without our permission, but a delegation from the French parliament went there. After that, the French ambassador was summoned to the Foreign Ministry and he was handed a note,” Aliyev explained.

The Azerbaijani leader lashed out at Russian peacekeepers and accused them overstepping.

“In the statement of November 10, their [the peacekeepers] functions are outlined, and there is no mention of humanitarian activities. But we turned a blind eye to this. We understood that it is winter now, and steps and measures are needed to recover. We agreed to this out of humane considerations, and the Armenians should appreciate this. We also allowed the goods to be delivered to Karabakh by rail, via Barda, and not by air via Lachin,” Aliyev claimed.

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