Claims Syunik is Azerbaijani Territory
President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan stepped up his military threats against Armenia, demanding that Yerevan stop its efforts to have the status of Karabakh determined by international mediators, and claimed that Armenia’s Syunik Province is part of Azerbaijani territory, once again asserting his plan of opening a corridor through Armenia, the APA news agency reported.
Speaking at an international conference in Baku, Aliyev claimed that there was “oral agreement” to not discuss the status of Karabakh and declared that the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs to “retire.”
“The Minsk Group, which received a mandate from the OSCE, has not achieved any results for 28 years. Therefore, after Azerbaijan has resolved the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, there is no need for the Minsk Group,” said Aliyev, adding that since Russia’s campaign against Ukraine it is impossible to hold meetings with the participation of the three Minsk Group co-chairs.
“We have already been informed that the institute of the Minsk Group co-chairs will no longer function. It’s time for them to retire. Thus, I want to express our position that any speculation in Armenia or any other country in terms of the Minsk Group only causes anger in Azerbaijan. We have settled the conflict. The Madrid principles developed by the Minsk Group have been resolved. Now we have to think about ways to normalize relations, sign a peace agreement with Armenia,” Aliyev said.
Azerbaijan’s leader also threatened Armenia, saying that Yerevan should drop “territorial claims” from Azerbaijan.
“If Armenia continues to question our territorial integrity, Azerbaijan will have no choice but to question Armenia’s territorial integrity,” he said.
“The history of the last century shows that in November 1920, six months after the sovietization of Azerbaijan, the Soviet authorities took the historical part of our country, Zangazur [Zangezur], and annexed it to Armenia. Therefore, if Armenia demands status for the Armenians of Karabakh, why shouldn’t the Azerbaijanis demand status for the Azerbaijanis in Western Zangazur? Ultimately, that area was completely inhabited by Azerbaijanis,” said Aliyev.
“I believe that the Armenian government should not forget the lessons of the second Karabakh war, should learn those lessons well, and renounce any territorial claims against Azerbaijan,” he said.
“If Armenia does not want peace, then what does it want? If [it wants] a new war, it will have catastrophic consequences for them,” added Aliyev.
Aliyev claimed that his government has already appointed a commission to work on a draft peace proposal and accused Armenia of not following suit.
Aliyev made similar comments last month, which were condemned by Armenia’s foreign ministry.