President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan said that there will be no peace treaty with Armenia unless Nagorno-Karabakh is recognized as part of Azerbaijan. Armenia hit back by accusing Azerbaijan of deliberately undermining peace in the region and called for international mediation in the effort.
“In order for Armenia to live comfortably within 29,000 square-kilometer territory, it must accept our conditions of recognizing Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan and conduction the delimitation of border according to our conditions,” Aliyev said on Saturday, speaking in occupied Talish, where Azerbaijan has begun resettling the area.
The Azerbaijani leader added that only by fulfilling this demand can Armenians live within the 29,000 square kilometer region “as they already have expressed.”
Aliyev also said that if these conditions are not met “there will be no peace treaty.”
In Talish, which was the main target of Azerbaijani attacks during the 2016 War, as well as a key area occupied during the 2020 War, Aliyev announced that 20 families already reside in the area, with 180 more families set to be resettled there.
Aliyev went on to praise the invasion of Talish in 2020 calling it a turning point in Azerbaijan’s “success” during the 44-Day War.
“Look at what the Armenia’s authorities, which once claimed ‘Karabakh is Armenia’ is saying now. Today they are saying give us the opportunity to live within the 29,000 square kilometers,” Aliyev said, referring to remarks made by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan in 2019 in Artsakh, as well as his later statements in 2022.
Aliyev went on to criticize the international community for what he called, its one-sided approach toward Armenia, saying that there was an effort to “lump all occupied territories of Azerbaijan within the Republic of Karabakh.”
He accused international organizations of remaining silent in the past and criticized them for still organizing “conferences and seminars related to Azerbaijan’s domestic issues.”
“Some pro-Armenian countries are recognizing the independence of Nagorno-Karabakh, which does not exist on the world map, does not exist in the territory of Azerbaijan. What does this mean? This means that during the occupation, the only goal of all those forces was to make the occupation permanent, and not to settle that conflict, but to freeze it,” Aliyev said.
He also accused Armenia’s “backers” of unjust and dirty tricks, saying they supposedly “support Armenia’s invasive policy and have declared an information war against us.”
“No one should forget the lessons from the second Karabakh war. Everyone must accept the new reality. No one should forget that Azerbaijan’s territories were under occupation for 30 years and this must be a important factor in future peace treaties,” added Aliyev.
Armenia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Saturday that its unequivocal assessment of the situation is that Azerbaijan is plotting ethnic cleansing in Artsakh.
“With its aggressive rhetoric and actions, Azerbaijan is preparing to subject the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh to genocide and launch a renewed aggression against Armenia,” said the foreign ministry.
“In the existing situation, it is necessary to launch international mechanisms for the prevention of genocides, send an international fact-finding mission to the Lachin Corridor and Nagorno-Karabakh, as well as to directly condemn Azerbaijan’s aggressive actions and policies,” added Armenia’s foreign ministry.
Official Yerevan also called the Azerbaijani efforts to resettle Talish and its surrounding region as a violation of the November 9, 2020, whose seventh point clearly states that any resettlement must be carried out under the supervision of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
Armenia’s foreign ministry also pointed to Azerbaijan current occupation of Armenia’s sovereign territories, which were breached in May 2021 and later in September 2022.
“Azerbaijan is doing everything to make peace in the region impossible. The leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan adopted statements on October 6, 2022 in Prague and on October 31 in Sochi, according to which Armenia and Azerbaijan recognize each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty based on the UN Charter and the Alma-Ata Declaration of 1991, and the delimitation process between the two countries should take place exclusively on this basis. Despite this, on March 18, the president of Azerbaijan again announced that the border delimitation should take place under the conditions set by Azerbaijan and has been continuously talking about some kind of historical maps for a long time,” said the Armenian foreign ministry statement.
“Azerbaijan not only is keeping sovereign territories of Armenia it illegally seized on May 12 and November 17, 2021 and September 2022 under occupation, but it has also introduced the so-called “Western Azerbaijan” concept and is declareing practically the entire territory of the Republic of Armenia as Azerbaijani territory,” explained the foreign ministry.
Official Yerevan accused Aliyev of reneging on its own promise on February 18 to begin discussions with Artsakh authorities about security and rights guarantees of Armenians of Karabakh.
“Just a few weeks after that announcement, Azerbaijan announced that it is planning to discuss the issue of ‘integration of the Armenians of Karabakh,’ while the statements made in Talish, the illegal blockade of the Lachin Corridor, the terrorist attack on March 5 prove that Azerbaijan intends to resolve the issue of the assimilation of the Armenians of Nagorno Karabakh at minimum. Armenia’s alarms about official Baku’s preparations to subject the Nagorno-Karabakh Armenians to genocide should not be ignored by the international community,” added Armenia’s foreign ministry.