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President Aliyev Warns Armenia to Refrain from Revanchist Rhetoric

By Mushvig Mehdiyev September 30, 2021


President Ilham Aliyev gives a virtual interview to the France 24 TV channel, Baku, Azerbaijan, September 28, 2021 / President.Az

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said his recent statement on potential threat from Armenia was a warning for Yerevan, adding that Baku would not tolerate any danger to its territorial integrity.

President Aliyev’s remarks came during an interview with France 24 TV channel on Tuesday. He said Armenia resorted to revanchist rhetoric after the last year’s war in the Karabakh region, which completely contradicts Azerbaijan’s peace-seeking efforts.

“The source of my statement was the tendency which we observe in Armenia, the tendency of revanchism among certain part of political establishment, not only opposition but also government, public statements and more important, practical steps in order to seek revenge, attempts to militarize Armenia, attempts to get access to new modern weapons for one purpose - to restart it again,” President Aliyev explained.

According to President Aliyev, the main purpose of those words was to warn Armenian political establishment that revanchism and threat to Azerbaijan’s people, statehood, and territorial integrity will be responded.

“We don’t want to start war, we don’t need it. We never needed during the years of negotiations but now, I think it’s time to warn them to give up the efforts of revanchism and to look to the future,” he noted.

Earlier this month, President Aliyev has also urged Armenia to accept that there is no alternative to peace.

Armenia and Azerbaijan had been in an armed conflict for nearly 30 years over the Karabakh (Garabagh) region, which is an internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan. Armenia launched full-blown military aggression against Azerbaijan following the Soviet Union’s dissolution in 1991. The bloody war lasted until a ceasefire in 1994, while Armenia occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized territories. Over 30,000 Azerbaijanis were killed during the war and one million others were expelled from their lands in a brutal ethnic cleansing policy conducted by Armenia.

On September 27, 2020, the decades-old conflict took a violent turn after Armenia’s forces deployed in the occupied Azerbaijani lands shelled military positions and civilian settlements of Azerbaijan. During the counter-attack operations that lasted 44 days, Azerbaijani forces liberated over 300 settlements, including the cities of Jabrayil, Fuzuli, Zangilan, Gubadli and Shusha, from nearly 30-year-long illegal Armenian occupation. The war ended in a tripartite statement signed on November 10 by Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia. Under the statement, Armenia also returned the occupied Aghdam, Kalbajar and Lachin districts to Azerbaijan.

Revanchist rhetoric surfaced after Armenia lost control over Azerbaijani territories after three decades of occupation. Armenians have accused their Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan of betraying the national interests by signing a “humiliating ceasefire”.

The overall picture of the "revenge movement" was reportedly voiced on his Facebook page by the deputy speaker of the Armenian National Assembly from the opposition Hayastan (Armenia) bloc, Ishkhan Saghatelyan, who stated that the Armenian people "will not tolerate another surrender”, referring to a possible political dialogue between Yerevan and Baku, and adding that all the agreements signed by the Prime Minister [Nikol Pashinyan] will remain just a bitter memory in the future. The "National Conservative Movement" party of Armenia has immediately thrown its weight behind Saghatelyan’s remarks, warning the Armenian authorities of mass actions of disobedience in the country.

Moscow-based American political analyst, Andrew Korybko, believes militaristic revanchism ideas spreading among various political circles in Armenia can end up in a complete disaster for Yerevan.

“It's unlikely that those circles will make good on their threats to seek revenge against Azerbaijan. They'd be completely crushed,” Korybko told Caspian News. “Their words should therefore only be considered as nationalist rhetoric,” he added.

Hikmat Hajiyev, Assistant to the Azerbaijani President, the Head of the Foreign Policy Affairs Department of the Presidential Administration, said Armenia’s attempts to rebuild its army was a “self-deception” and it would be their “historical mistake” to think about revenge since Azerbaijan would continue to ensure the protection of its borders and security of its citizens in the future.