Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev on Wednesday vowed that his government will continue to thwart the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs to address the Karabakh conflict, while the organizations chairman in office, using its traditional false parity, called on Armenia and Azerbaijan to refrain from the use of force.
The latest statement from the OSCE Chairman in Office was in response to Azerbaijan’s attack on Armenian positions in the Gegharkunik Province on Tuesday, as a result of which three Armenian soldiers were killed.
In remarks on Tuesday, Aliyev blamed Armenia for Tuesday’s border flare up and again threatened war against Armenia, vowing that Azerbaijan will “eliminate” any perceived threat immediately. He also claimed that six to eight Armenian soldiers were killed, countering Armenia’s official number, which was revised Wednesday to three soldiers who lost their lives in combat on Tuesday.
“This is not the first attempt of provocation by the Armenian side. Unfortunately, all the retaliatory steps taken by us in the past have not been a lesson for Armenia yet, and yesterday’s case was no exception,” said Aliyev with another overt threat of war against Armenia.
“Azerbaijan is closely monitoring the military build-up in Armenia, either by itself or through its allies,” said Aliyev, in a not so veiled reference to Russia.
“I have openly said that even if we see the slightest threat to our security, that danger will be eliminated immediately. Regardless of where it is, how deep it is located in the territory of Armenia. Everyone should understand that—first and foremost the leadership of Armenia,” said Aliyev.
The Azerbaijani leader vowed that Baku will continue to buy modern weapons to increase the army’s combat readiness. As a means of improving the army, Aliyev emphasized the need to create special units, which he claimed “did their best” during the 2020 44-day war in Karabakh.
Referring to the Karabakh issue, Aliyev insisted that Baku would continue to “thwart attempts by the OSCE Minsk Group to deal with it.”
“I do not know what the Minsk Group is doing. They are preparing for jubilee celebrations,” said the Aliyev, reminding that the mission was formed in 1992, thus marking its 30th anniversary.
“But all jokes aside, I think they [the Minsk Group] should formulate their own agenda,” Aliyev said. “I can say what they should not do: They should not deal with the Karabakh issue, because it has been resolved. We have solved it instead of them. “
Since the end of the 2020 war, Aliyev, on several occasions, has stated that the Karabakh conflict has been resolved through the war, calling on all parties involved to “look ahead.”
Yet the OSCE on Wednesday continued to maintain its insistence to call on both Armenia and Azerbaijan to refrain from the use of force, urging the two countries to “engage in meaningful dialogue to settle the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.”
“We are closely monitoring the situation in the South Caucasus. We call on Armenia and Azerbaijan to refrain from the use of force and engage in a meaningful dialogue to settle the dispute around Nagorno Karabakh. Poland as OSCE Chair is committed to working with partners to renew and strengthen our efforts aimed at establishing lasting peace and promoting sustainable development in the region. We will support the effort of the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group in this regard,” the organization’s statement said.
Poland’s Foreign Minister, Zbigniew Rau, on behalf of the OSCE’s chairmanship, expressed “deep concern” about the violent attacks against Armenia on Tuesday.
He reiterated the statement of the OSCE Chairman-in-office.