BAKU (RFE/RL) — Speaking on national television on Friday, August 12, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev again ruled out any status for ethnic Armenians living in Karabakh, saying that they will enjoy the same rights as other citizens of Azerbaijan.
Aliyev also reaffirmed Baku’s right to conduct military operations in Karabakh similar to the one its armed forces conducted in early August along the Lachin corridor with the use of drones, mortars and grenade launchers.
Armenian authorities in Nagorno-Karabakh said two Armenian soldiers were killed and 19 others were wounded in the August 3 attack by Azerbaijani forces that prompted calls from the international community for de-escalation in the volatile region.
Azerbaijan claimed it had taken retributive action for the killing of an Azerbaijani servicemen by “Armenian terrorists.”
“Armenians living in Karabakh should take the right steps. They must understand that their future depends on their integration into Azerbaijani society. We live in reality. From the geographical, economic and historical points of view, Karabakh is an inseparable part of Azerbaijan,” Aliyev told AzTV, as reported by Azerbaijani news website Haqqin.az.
The Azerbaijani leader claimed that those who talk about some status or independence for Armenians in Karabakh are “the main enemies of the Armenian people.”