MOSCOW (RFE/RL) — Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has again claimed that Azerbaijan resolved the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh during last year’s war and will not hold talks with Armenia on the territory’s status.
Aliyev said on Thursday, July 22, Yerevan should recognize instead Azerbaijani sovereignty over Karabakh through a “peace treaty” proposed by Baku.
“The Azerbaijani people are rightly unhappy to see statements … made in France and America to the effect that the conflict must be resolved,” he told Azerbaijani state television. “I am again telling them that I, the president of Azerbaijan, have already resolved that issue, period. There is no Nagorno-Karabakh, no status.”
Speaking one day after meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Aliyev claimed that Moscow agrees with his stance. “Russia and Azerbaijan believe that the war is over and revanchist tendencies in Armenia must not be allowed,” he said.
In a joint statement released in April, the U.S., Russian and French mediators co-heading the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group called on Armenia and Azerbaijan to resume negotiations on a “comprehensive and sustainable” resolution of the Karabakh conflict based on their pre-war peace proposals. They expressed readiness to facilitate such talks, including with renewed visits to the conflict zone.
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan cited this statement last week when he disputed Aliyev’s claim that Azerbaijan’s victory in the six-week war put an end to the long-standing dispute. Pashinyan made clear that Yerevan will continue to pursue “the realization of the Karabakh people’s right to self-determination.”