YEREVAN — The Armenian government condemned Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev on Wednesday for again telling Nagorno-Karabakh’s ethnic Armenian population to accept Azerbaijani rule or leave the region.

In televised remarks aired on Tuesday, Aliyev reiterated that Baku will not hold any internationally mediated talks with the Karabakh Armenians. “The separatists must realize that they have two options: either they will live under Azerbaijani rule or leave,” he said.

The Armenian Foreign Ministry said the hate speech highlights Aliyev’s intention to subject Nagorno-Karabakh’s population to ethnic cleansing. It accused him of breaking a pledge to agree to an international mechanism for addressing the Nagorno-Karabakh people’s rights and security guarantees.

“Instead of looking for sustainable and lasting solutions to problems that have accumulated in the region for years, Azerbaijan is trying to advance its maximalist ambitions through the use of force and threats of force,” the ministry said in a statement.

Below is the full statement issued by the Foreign Ministry.

Armenia’s Foreign Ministry slammed today Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev for saying on Tuesday that ‘ Karabakh is our internal matter and Armenians living in the region must obtain Azerbaijani citizenship, otherwise they will have to look for another place of residence.’

According to Armenian Foreign Ministry, Aliyev’s latest statement once again demonstrate his intention to torpedo the efforts of the Armenian side and international community to establish peace in the South Caucasus.

‘With his statements, Ilham Aliyev demonstrates open contempt for various international partners, in whose presence and through whose mediation Azerbaijan has recognized the territorial integrity of Armenia and assumed clear obligations, including the delimitation of the borders between the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan on the basis of the Almaty Declaration, and the creation of an international mechanism for ensuring the rights and security guarantees of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh,’ the statement says.

It reads as follows: ‘Moreover, by his statement the President of Azerbaijan openly acknowledges the planned aggression against and occupation of the sovereign territories of the Republic of Armenia and also discloses his intention to subject the population of Nagorno-Karabakh to ethnic cleansing. The President of Azerbaijan, under whose leadership Azerbaijan has seen gross and flagrant institutional violations of human rights, openly voices ontological threats to the peaceful population of Nagorno Karabakh living in their homeland.

The hate speeches against the Armenian people made by the Azerbaijani leadership are obviously aimed at deepening the intolerance and hatred towards the Armenian people propagated by the Azerbaijani public for decades, which also results in war crimes committed by the Azerbaijani armed forces, extrajudicial killings of prisoners of war and civilian hostages on ethnic grounds, their video recording and distribution by their perpetrators as an object of pride.

The statements made by the political leadership of Azerbaijan were also the inspiration for the fact that a few days ago an Azerbaijani soldier illegally entered the territory of Armenia, deliberately and brutally killed an Armenian citizen and tried to inform the Azerbaijani side about this, as well as about the intention of killing many Armenian civilians. We are sure that after the above-mentioned statement of the President of Azerbaijan, the fact that these and the above-mentioned crimes were organized at the state level cannot even be questioned by the international community.

Instead of searching for stable and long-term solutions to the problems that have been accumulating in the region for years, Azerbaijan is trying to promote its expansionist ambitions through the use of force and the threat of force. The Armenian side has repeatedly warned of the destabilizing prospects of this policy and has drawn the attention of the international community to the danger of this course of action to the world order based on international law.’


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