Asbarez: Aliyev Hurls Threats as Yerevan Presses for Karabakh Status

A past celebration of Artsakh's independence

Armenia insisted on Friday that a final status for Karabakh has not been determined as Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev, once again, threatened Armenia with unspecified consequences if it continued to press for OSCE Minsk Group-mediated talks on the matter, urging Yerevan to not “anger or annoy us.”

“The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is a thing of the past,” Aliyev declared late Thursday, in a video address to the United Nations General Assembly. “Azerbaijan no longer has an administrative-territorial unit called Nagorno-Karabakh,” he said, adding that the international community should stop using the Artsakh’s name.

“They [Armenia] should not forget the lessons of the Second Karabakh War,” warned Aliyev in an interview with the Russian “National Defense” magazine, reported the Turan news agency.

“In general, why does Armenia, a loser of the war, having signed the act of surrender, consider itself entitled to talk about some kind of status for Karabakh? It is impossible to talk about the status of something that is no longer there,” added Aliyev.

“There is no Nagorno-Karabakh. There is the Karabakh economic region, there is the East-Zangezur economic region. This is our territory, and only we can determine what administrative units we can have. Only to us, no one else, no other country, especially Armenia,” Aliyev told the Russian “National Interest.”

He threatened that if Armenia continues to pursue the Karabakh status agenda, Azerbaijan will “respond in the same manner” by claiming Zangezur and other parts of Armenia as historic Azerbaijani territory, reiterating his claim that Armenia and Azerbaijan must sign a peace treaty that acknowledges Artsakh as part of Azerbaijan.

Armenia’s National Security Chief Armen Grigoryan on Friday said that the status of Karabakh must be determinate by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs, calling Aliyev’s statements “perplexing.”

“The Nagorno Karabakh issue isn’t resolved, and this issue still awaits its resolution,” said Grigoryan. “We believe that we are going to discuss the status within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group.”

The United States Ambassador to Armenia Lynne Tracy has also been vocal in emphasizing that the status of the Karabakh has not been resolved. She was rebuked by Baku earlier this month, when the Azerbaijani foreign ministry said that Tracy was destabilizing the peace process.

The status of the Karabakh was a topic of discussion between Armenian and French foreign ministers Ararat Mirzoyan and Jean-Yves Le Drian who met in New York on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly. Le Drian also discussed the matter, including the co-chairs’ role, with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday in New York.

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Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS