In his latest threat to Armenians, President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan on Friday said that Armenians of Karabakh will have “no status, no independence and no special privileges,” and added that Berdzor (Lachin) and its surrounding villages will be populated by Azerbaijanis.
“The Armenians of Karabakh must take the right steps and understand that their future will only be as integrated people within Azerbaijani society. The Armenians of Karabakh will have no status, no independence and no special privileges. They are rightful citizens of Azerbaijan,” Aliyev declared to Azerbaijani television reporters following a visit to a local town, Azatutyun.am’s Armenian Service reported.
“We are going to return to those settlements,” declared Aliyev, adding that he has instructed relevant agencies working with “displaced” people to make the necessary arrangements.
During the latest military aggression against Artsakh last week, Azerbaijan demanded from the authorities in Stepanakert that the link between Armenia and Artsakh must pass through the newly-constructed road, which meant that the current Lachin Corridor—with all the surrounding villages and towns—will fall under Azerbaijani control.
Artsakh authorities told the residents of those village that they have until August 25 to vacate their villages and abandon their homes.
In declaring that Armenian of Artsakh will have no rights, Aliyev insisted that there was no Karabakh issue within the context of Armenia-Azerbaijan settlement process.
Aliyev said that he has opposed efforts to discuss the Karabakh issue, insisting that it is a domestic matter for Azerbaijan and Armenia has no business in this process.
He added that there were not discussion on a status for Karabakh Armenians, adding that Azerbaijan will guarantee their rights and safety.
Aliyev said that after the end of the 2020 war, Baku has proposed to start peace negotiations, but has not received a position response from Yerevan, claiming that Armenia was opposed to a border demarcation commission but late it caved in. He also said that Armenia opposes the so-called “Zangezur Corridor.”
“In the coming weeks, we anticipate that they [Armenia] will present the route of the Zangezur Corridor. Armenians living in Karabakh will also see that they can only benefit from Azerbaijan,” Aliyev insisted.
The Azerbaijani leader accused Armenia of resorting to provocation and warned Yerevan not to “play with fire.”
He belligerently declared that recent events once again have demonstrated that “nobody and nothing can stop Azerbaijan.”
At the same time, he said that they have no intention of starting a new war, because they have achieved their goal. However, he repeated Baku’s demand for Armenian armed forces to leave Karabakh once and for all. According to him, Armenia took on this obligation by signing the November 9, 2020 agreement.