ANKARA: No Compromises On Karabakh: Azerbaijan’s President

Turkish Press
July 21 2004

No Compromises On Karabakh: Azerbaijan’s President

AFP: 7/21/2004
KHUDAT DISTRICT, Azerbaijan, July 21 (AFP) – Azerbaijan will make no
compromises in its negotiations with Armenia over the disputed
enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, President Ilham Aliyev said Wednesday.

The statement appeared to mark a hardening of Azerbaijan’s stance
over the conflict, which remains unresolved after a war in the early
1990s that displaced a million civilians and left some 35,000 people

“We cannot react positively to calls on us to make compromises. On
questions of our territorial integrity we will never make any
compromises,” Aliyev said on a visit to northern Azerbaijan.

“Certain calls on us (to make compromises on Nagorno-Karabakh) are
without foundation,” the Azeri leader added.

“All international norms, the economic situation, are on our side.
Large resources are being given to the army and we will continue to
make available these resources.”

Since large-scale fighting ceased in 1994 Nagorno-Karabakh — which
is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan — and several
surrounding Azeri regions have been under the control of Armenian

Azerbaijan has insisted that Armenian troops relinquish the
territory, and has said it reserves the right to use force to settle
the dispute.

In the past, Azerbaijan has signalled that it might make concessions
in order to reach a lasting peace settlement with Armenia over the
enclage. One possibility that has been mooted is an exchange of

But Aliyev’s comments Wednesday, to a unit of border guards on
Azerbaijan’s frontier with Russia, seemed to indicate that this
option has now been ruled out.