Azerbaijan’s President Says Will Agree to Ceasefire If Armenia Vows to Withdraw Troops From Karabakh
Azerbaijan’s President Says Will Agree to Ceasefire If Armenia Vows to Withdraw Troops From Karabakh. Major fighting in the contested South Caucasus region of Nagorno-Karabakh began last Sunday, with both sides accusing one another of starting the conflagration, and claiming that their forces have killed thousands of enemy troops on the other side, learned citing sputnik.
Baku would be prepared to cease its operations in Nagorno-Karabakh if Armenia proposed an agenda for the withdrawal of its forces from the contested region’s cities, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has announced.
“Our condition for a ceasefire is that Armenia should propose a temporary agenda for the withdrawal of troops from the occupied Azerbaijani territories in Nagorno-Karabakh, which would not be shown merely in words, but implemented in deeds, on which days which territories would be freed,” Aliyev said, speaking to Al-Arabiya on Sunday.
“We agree with the point of view that the problem with Armenia should be resolved through dialogue, but there must be a foundation for this. The Armenian Prime Minister must declare his adherance to previous agreements, according to which the territories of Nagorno-Karabakh were recognized as occupied Azerbaijani territories,” Aliyev added.
According to the president, stopping the fighting will also require an apology from Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, who allegedly “called the occupied Azerbaijani lands Armenian.”
Otherwise, Aliyev warned, Azerbaijani operations would continue, and Baku would try to establish normal relations with the Armenian people after liberating its lands.
“We will try to restore normal relations with the Armenian people after the liberation of our occupied territories. We will try to return to good-neighbourly relations, although it will not be easy,” the president said.
On Thursday, Pashinyan accused Turkey of coordinating Azerbaijan’s military campaign, and suggested Ankara had returned to the South Caucasus “to continue the Armenian Genocide” in pursuit of its “imperialistic dream.”
In his remarks Sunday, Aliyev also demanded an apology from French President Emmanuel Macron for his claim that Syrian jihadists had been transfered to the region to carry out operations in Nagorno-Karabakh.
“There are no mercenaries. We have an army of 100,000 soldiers. I demand that France apologize and show responsibility,” Aliyev said.
The Azerbaijani president’s comments came as large-scale fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh entered its seventh day. Almost 40 civilians, and hundreds if not thousands of servicemen from both sides, have been killed, with the Armenia-backed self-proclaimed Artsakh Republic and Azerbaijan accusing one another of deliberately targeting civilian areas in missile and artillery strikes.