Aliyev’s statement on autonomy to Artsakh ridiculous: David Babayan

Azerbaijani President’s statements on provision of autonomy to Nagorno Karabakh are absurd and cannot be taken seriously, Spokesman for the NKR President David Babayan said in an interview with .

“This is a provocative statement. Autonomy means return to the past. How can Artsakh refuse from independence and become a colony, a concentration camp within Azerbaijan?” the Spokesman said. He deemed the statements “ridiculous” and added that “it’s not a matter of discussion.”

The comments come after Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said in an interview with RIA Novosti that “reasonable compromise on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement is possible,” and suggested that “the region could become an autonomous republic,”

According to Aliyev, there can be no compromise on the “territorial integrity of Azerbaijan,” as Baku would “never agree” to the Nagorno-Karabakh independence.  “But there can be compromise on the issues of local self-government… in the future, if we manage to agree, it [Karabakh] may become an autonomous republic,” Aliyev said.

David Babayan said “the statement means Azerbaijan is not ready for a comprehensive settlement. He added that Azerbaijan should first think about provision of autonomy to other nations living on its territory – Talyshs, Lezgins and others. “There is no alternative to provision of self-governance to those peoples, because if the pressures continue, new conflicts could emerge,” David Babyan noted.

The Spokesman, however, notices a positive dynamic in Aliyev’s statements. “In the past he was speaking exceptionally about the destruction of Karabakh, today he’s speaking about the willingness to provide autonomy. One day he may come to the understanding that Artsakh should be garnted independence, while the other nations should get autonomy within Azerbaijan,” he noted.

As for the visit of the OSCE Misnk Group Co-Chairs to Nagorno Karabakh, David Babayan said “they always visit Artsakh during regional visits, provided that the weather conditions are good. There are exceptions, when the visit is aimed at organizing meetings between the Presidents or the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan.

“Thus, we expect the Co-Chairs to visit the Nagorno Karabakh Republic at the end of the week and we hope the weather will not create any difficulties,” David Babayan concluded.

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