BAKU — Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on Tuesday accused Armenia of “dragging out” the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and again ruled out any peace accord that would fail restore Baku’s control over the disputed territory.
“We understand that Armenia is now trying to artificially drag out the issue, to portray itself as a constructive party in the negotiations,” he told Azerbaijan’s newly elected parliament. “But the truth is that at decisive moments Armenia backs away from issues previously agreed upon, again making unrealistic proposals that can not be accepted. Thus, it is trying to make the negotiating process open-ended and endless.”
Aliyev said the mediating powers — the United States, Russia and France — should not “allow this status quo to last for long.” “Or else, negotiations will become completely meaningless,” he said.
Armenian has long said that decisive progress in the peace process is contingent on Azerbaijan accepting the Karabakh Armenians’ right to self-determination.
Aliyev reiterated on Tuesday that Karabakh’s predominantly Armenian population can only determine the extent of the territory’s autonomy within Azerbaijan. “The Azerbaijani state will never grant independence to Nagorno-Karabakh, its primordial land,” he said. “That is impossible. The other party knows that.”
The Armenian side insists that it will never agree to Karabakh’s return under Azerbaijani rule.

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