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President Aliyev Tells Separatists in Karabakh Region to Obey Azerbaijani Laws

By Ilham Karimli May 31, 2023


President Ilham Aliyev at the meeting with the former IDPs returned to the Lachin district, May 28, 2023 / President.Az

President Ilham Aliyev has called on the Armenian separatists in the Karabakh region to obey the laws of Azerbaijan instead of seeking a so-called “independence”.

According to him, there is no chance for them to follow the notorious “Miatsum” campaign that features separatism, “status”, and “independence” efforts.

“There is only one option left – to obey the laws of Azerbaijan, be a loyal and normal citizen of Azerbaijan, throw the false state attributes in the trash, and dissolve the “parliament” – as if there is a “parliament” there, as if there is a president, as if there is a minister, all this is funny. We are simply being patient,” President Aliyev said in a meeting with the former IDPs in Lachin on Sunday, President.Az reported.

“However, everyone knows perfectly well that we have all the opportunities to carry out any operation in that region today. Therefore, the “parliament” should be dissolved, the element calling himself “president” should surrender, all “ministers”, “deputies” and others should give up their positions. Only in that case can a concession be made to them. Only in that case can we talk of an amnesty.”

The nationalist "Miatsum" - "unification" chant is a notorious separatist slogan that accompanied the rise of anti-Azerbaijan sentiments in Armenia in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It called for annexing Azerbaijan's Karabakh region to Armenia.

President Aliyev said a representative from Azerbaijan had already held the first meeting with the representatives of Armenians living in the Karabakh region, and they were invited twice to the meeting in Baku. However, the proposals were turned down.

He added that Baku is not going to make the third invitation, therefore, they should either voluntarily apply for Azerbaijani citizenship or things will develop differently.

“My word is final, and everyone knows that both in Azerbaijan and the rest of the world, including Armenia. We do what we say. Not a single word of ours, as they say, has been left in the air and never will be in the future either,” President Aliyev stated, calling on the Karabakh Armenians to not miss the next opportunity given by Azerbaijan.

The separatists in the Karabakh region have turned down the proposals by President Aliyev, according to Armenian media reports.

Meanwhile, on Monday, members of an illegal Armenian armed detachment in the territory of Azerbaijan, where the Russian peacekeepers are temporarily stationed, under the guise of agricultural work, attempted to install long-term fortification devices near the Azerbaijan Army’s positions located in the directions of the Aghdam, Khojavend, Shusha, Lachin, and Kalbajar regions.

According to the Defense Ministry of Azerbaijan, the engineering work was immediately stopped as a result of the urgent measures taken by the Azerbaijan army units.

On Tuesday, members of illegal Armenian armed gangs committed 15 incidents recorded as a result of fire opened on the Azerbaijan military positions, stationed in the Aghdam, Shusha, and Kalbajar regions. The Azerbaijani army took adequate retaliatory measures.

Armenia and Azerbaijan have long been at odds over the latter's Karabakh region. Following the Soviet Union’s dissolution in 1991, Armenia launched a military campaign against Azerbaijan that lasted until a ceasefire deal was reached in 1994. As a result, Armenia occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized territories. Over 30,000 ethnic Azerbaijanis were killed, and one million were expelled from those lands in a brutal ethnic cleansing campaign carried out by Armenia.

On September 27, 2020, the decades-old conflict between the two countries spiralled after Armenia’s forces deployed in occupied Azerbaijani lands shelled military positions and civilian settlements of Azerbaijan. During counter-attack operations, Azerbaijani forces liberated over 300 settlements, including the cities of Jabrayil, Fuzuli, Zangilan, Gubadli, and Shusha, from a nearly 30-year-long illegal Armenian occupation. The war ended in a statement signed on November 10, 2020, under which Armenia returned the occupied Aghdam, Kalbajar, and Lachin districts to Azerbaijan.

Nearly 25,000 Armenians reside in certain parts of the Karabakh region, monitored by a temporary Russian peacekeeping mission. Shortly after the war, the government of Azerbaijan voiced its readiness to reintegrate these people into Azerbaijani society in line with the Constitution and laws of Azerbaijan.

On March 1, officials from Azerbaijan met with the representatives of Armenians residing in the Karabakh region. During the meeting, preliminary discussions were held on their reintegration into the Azerbaijani society. In late March, the Azerbaijani authorities invited the representatives of Karabakh Armenians to Baku for a second meeting.

However, a group of separatists in the Karabakh region meddled to derail the process. They have been seeking a so-called status for the region’s Armenian population, demanding “independence” from Azerbaijan.