Baku is angry at Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s comment that “Artsakh is Armenia” with the head of the Foreign Relations Department of the Azerbaijani President strongly condemning the statement, which was made on Monday during a rally in Stepanakert.
“Nagorno-Karabakh is Azerbaijan. It is our historic and inseparable land,” said Hikmet Hajiyev, according to the Azerbaijani news agency Turan.
Hajiyev called Pashinyan’s comments “provocative,” adding that with such rhetoric Armenia’s leadership brings the region to the brink of a “serious crisis.”
“Let no one doubt that Azerbaijan will restore its territorial integrity. Responsibility for the consequences lies with the Armenian side,” said Hajiyev.
Pashinyan spoke at a rally in Stepanakert’s Revival Square Monday ahead of the opening ceremonies of the 7th Pan-Armenian Games, which took place Tuesday in the Artsakh capital attended by thousands of Armenians from around the world.
During his remarks on Monday, Pashinyan also said “only Armenians can determine their own fate,” alluding to the potential of the Armenian nation in Armenia, Artsakh and the Diaspora.
During his remarks, Pashinyan also referred to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resolution, saying that the goal of the talks was to “defend the achievements of the liberation struggle waged for the sovereignty and security of the people of Artsakh.”
“Any solution reached as a result of negotiations that will be considered acceptable for the governments of Armenia and Artsakh can only go into effect if the people of Armenia and Artsakh endorse it,” said Pashinyan.
Referring to Hajiyev’s comments, Artsakh Presidential spokesperson Davit Babayan told news.am that Baku is distorting Pashinyan’s statement in order to further its dishonest goals.
“When the Prime Minister of Armenia was talking about the idea of unification, he was referring to the ideals of the nation and that which all Armenians of the world are aspiring to achieve,” said Babayan.
“This doesn’t imply dismantling Artsakh’s statehood. We, Armenians, want reunification, and we are not hiding it. However, we also need to take into consideration global, regional and geopolitical factors. From that perspective, the two Armenian states are strengthening their positions, and this allows us to resist many challenges effectively,” explained Babayan.