By Ani Avetisyan
BAKU (oc-media.org) – Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has threatened to use force to establish a “corridor” through southern Armenia connecting western Azerbaijan with the Autonomous Nakhchivan Republic. The comments were met with outrage in Armenia.
“The creation of the Zangezur corridor fully meets our national, historical and future interests. We will be implementing the Zangezur Corridor, whether Armenia wants it or not,” Aliyev said during an interview with Azerbaijani Public TV on April 19. “If Armenia wants to, we will solve this issue more easily; if it does not, we will solve it by force.”
“The Azerbaijani people are returning to the occupied Zangezur,” he said.
Aliyev’s statements instantly sparked outrage in Armenia. Armenian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Anna Naghdalyan condemned the comments, stating that they “do serious harm to regional peace and stability” and “reveal the false nature of Azerbaijan’s recent peace statements.”
‘Armenia will take all necessary measures to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity’, she concluded. The Human Rights Defender of Armenia also released a statement, decrying the comments as reflective of “fascist policy” by Aliyev.