Azeri Leader Rules Out Concessions At Talks On Nagorno-Karabakh
Azerbaijan's president said on Friday he was ready to resume talks on NagornoKarabakh after almost two weeks of fighting over the tiny enclave in the South Caucasus, but ruled out making concessions to Armenia.
- Last Updated: October 9, 2020, 19:54 IST
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BAKU/YEREVAN: Azerbaijan’s president said on Friday he was ready to resume talks on Nagorno-Karabakh after almost two weeks of fighting over the tiny enclave in the South Caucasus, but ruled out making concessions to Armenia.
President Ilham Aliyev took a tough line in a speech to the nation as the Azeri and Armenian foreign ministers attended talks in Moscow on ending fighting that broke out on Sept. 27 and has killed over 400 people in and around Nagorno-Karabakh.
The mountain enclave belongs to Azerbaijan under international law but broke away in a war as the Soviet Union collapsed and is populated and governed by ethnic Armenians.
“Let those holding talks in Moscow know that it’s our territory and we won’t be making any concessions,” Aliyev said.
He said no other country could influence Azerbaijan’s will in the conflict and that there could be no talks if Armenia continued to insist that Nagorno-Karabakh was part of Armenian territory.
He said Azerbaijan’s use of force had changed the facts on the ground and that he had proved there was a military solution to the dispute.
The talks in Moscow followed the launch of a peace drive by France, Russia and the United States at a meeting in Geneva on Thursday.
The renewed fighting in the decades-old conflict has raised fears of a wider war drawing in Turkey and Russia, which has a defence pact with Armenia.
The violence, which continued on Friday, has also increased concern about the security of pipelines in Azerbaijan that take natural gas and oil to Europe.
(Additional reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu in Ankara, Michel Rose and John Irish in Paris, and Alexander Marrow and Maria Kiselyova in Moscow, Writing by Margarita Antidze and Timothy Heritage, Editing by Jon Boyle)
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