No Compromise on Karabakh, Says Azeri President

BAKU (Armenpress)-During independence day celebrations in Azerbaijan on Wednesday, President Ilham Aliyev exclaimed that his country will not compromises on the settlement of the Karabakh conflict and will make its position on the current status the conflict clear in the coming months.
"I think that in the coming months, probably by the end of the year, and in 2009 we will more clearly state our thoughts over the regulation of the conflict as the delay of the issue is unacceptable," he said.
His statemen’s came during official celebrations of Azerbaijan’s 1918 declaration of independence from Russia.
According to Aliyev, there are sides that try to make Azerbaijan compromise, but Azerbaijan will not retract from its positions.
He explained that the Karabakh conflict is the only serious problem Azerbaijan faces and the issue would be exclusively solved within the framework of the country’s territorial integrity, which he claimed was the main issue to be discussed during negotiations.
But progress cannot be achieved like this, he stressed.
With Nagorno-Karabakh a major election issue in Azerbaijan this year, President Aliyev, who will be running for re-election in October, has been toughening his already bellicose position on the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, threatening to re-ignite war and "take back" the Armenian territory by force. Many analysts believe that if the elections do not play out in favor of Aliyev, there is a real possibility that he will use a renewed conflict to hold onto power, as his father did during the early 90s.
In related news, Azerbaijan’s Deputy Foreign Minister Araz Azimov told reporters in Baku on Thursday that the upcoming St. Petersburg meeting between the Azeri and Armenian presidents scheduled for June, will help Azerbaijan’s leadership gain a clearer picture of official Yerevan’s positions regarding the settlement conflict.
"Further negotiations for the resolution of the conflict depend on the positions of the two sides (Armenia and Azerbaijan)," he said.
"If there are differences in positions, there is no sense to continue these negotiations," he added, reiterating Azerbaijan’s superficial commitment to continue negotiations within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group, which has been mediating since 1997 for a compromise solution.


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