Azerbaijan continues to advocate a peaceful solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Counterproductive and provocative actions on the Armenian side, according to the Azerbaijani president, made the negotiations pointless, however.
In the struggle for an end to the bloody fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh in the South Caucasus, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has shown a fundamental willingness to hold talks with the Armenian head of government Nikol Pashinyan. Of course a meeting is possible, the 58-year-old told the Japanese daily newspaper “Nikkei” on Thursday. At the same time, however, he dampened expectations: “With this Armenian government, the prospect of a peaceful solution is unfortunately very low. Counterproductive and provocative statements and actions on the Armenian side made negotiations pointless.
Aliyev, however, ruled out a referendum on the membership of the disputed mountain region. Nagorno-Karabakh is occupied by Armenia, but under international law it belongs to Azerbaijan. “All areas of Azerbaijan must be liberated. All of them,” said the president. One could only talk about the timetable for this. Because talks had not yet brought anything, “we are now liberating our territories on the battlefield.
The two ex-Soviet republics have been fighting for decades for the region with its approximately 145,000 inhabitants. In a war that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union some 30 years ago, Armenia occupied the area. A fragile ceasefire has been in effect since 1994. Since the end of September there have been new heavy battles. Two agreed upon ceasefires were broken shortly after they came into force.
Armenia sees Russia as a protective power, Azerbaijan sees Turkey as an ally. “Turkey should be actively involved,” said Aliyev with a view to a mediating role. In contrast, Armenia’s Foreign Ministry accused the neighboring country of using Turkey to take targeted action against the population of Nagorno-Karabakh. Both countries should not undermine the efforts of the international community to establish a lasting ceasefire.
Armenia reported fighting along the entire front line on Thursday. Azerbaijan accused its neighbor of firing two missiles into the Kebele region. The Azerbaijani side also speaks of 63 civilians killed.
In the evening, Aliyev wrote on Twitter that further villages had been reconquered. In addition, the entire Azerbaijani-Iranian border is now under control of Baku. In addition, videos published by the army were intended to document a further advance in the buffer zone to the north towards the supply road to Karabakh, which is vital for Armenian occupation forces.