Turkish Press: ‘Armenia still hasn’t handed over 8 villages to Azerbaijan’

Daily Sabah, Turkey
Nov 7 2023

Eight villages in liberated Karabakh are still under Armenian occupation, Azerbaijan's Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.

"Armenia chose the path of enduring to menace the peace process, lives of our citizens, restoration and reconstruction work carried out in the region … Armenia also refused to hand over eight Azerbaijani villages, which are still under occupation," said a statement by the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry.

The statement was released on the occasion of Azerbaijan's Victory Day on Nov. 8, which celebrates Baku's victory in the 2020 Karabakh war. It said that despite its obligations, Armenia continued to provide military support to separatist forces in the Karabakh region amid peace talks.

It further emphasized that the separatist forces in the region ignored Azerbaijan's warnings at various levels and platforms, and increased their provocations back in September, resulting in the anti-terrorism operation which restored the country's full sovereignty over its territories.

"Currently, after the existence of the Armenian armed forces and the puppet regime created by Armenia in our territories were brought to an end, there are ample opportunities for peace and stability in the region," the statement said.

It added that "Armenia must finally recognize that there is no alternative to peace and cooperation in the region," noting that Azerbaijan calls on Armenia to demonstrate a "constructive and just position in the peace process and to understand the realities in the region properly."

Azerbaijan and Armenia relations have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.

Azerbaijan liberated most of the territory during a war in the fall of 2020, which ended after a Russian-brokered peace agreement and also opened the door to normalization.

This September, the Azerbaijani army initiated an anti-terrorism operation in Karabakh to establish constitutional order, after which illegal separatist forces in the region surrendered.

Azerbaijan, having now established full sovereignty in the region, has reiterated its call on the Armenian population in Karabakh to become part of Azerbaijani society.

Meanwhile, Azerbaijan and Serbia reiterated their support for each other's territorial integrity amid talks between Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov in Belgrade.

"President Aleksandar Vucic said that Serbia always supports the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and expressed gratitude for Azerbaijan's support to the territorial integrity of Serbia," according to a statement by the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry.

It said satisfaction with the existing strategic partnership relationship between the two countries and the importance of mutual high-level visits were expressed during the meeting.

It also said Vucic and Bayramov exchanged views on the perspectives of the development of trade and economic relations, indicating there are a lot of opportunities for strategic cooperation in energy, agriculture, tourism and others.

"During the meeting, views were exchanged on the possibility of normalization of Armenian-Azerbaijani relations and establishment of sustainable peace in the region," it said, adding that other issues of mutual interest were also discussed.

Bayramov later held separate meetings with Vladimir Orlic, the head of the Serbian National Assembly and his Serbian counterpart, Ivica Dacic.

Bayramov visited Bucharest on Monday where he met his Romanian counterpart, Luminita Odobescu.