MOSCOW, September 29. /TASS/. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said on Tuesday any talks with Armenia are out of question because of its position on Nagorno-Karabakh.
"Armenia’s Prime Minister [Nikol Pashinyan] publicly states that Karabakh is Armenia and that’s it. In such an event, any negotiating process is out of question, since the [conflict settlement] principles elaborated by the OSCE Minsk Group envisage that the territories around the former Nagorno-Karabakh autonomous area are to be handed over to Azerbaijan. And once he says that Karabakh is Armenia, and moreover, he says that we must hold talks with the so-called puppet Nagorno-Karabakh regime, it means he is seeking to break down the format of talks that has existed for 20 years," he said in an interview with the 60 Minutes program on the Rossiya-1 television channel.
According to the Azerbaijani leader, Armenia "is deliberately frustrating the negotiating process and advances unacceptable demand."
Azerbaijan, in his words, have always demonstrated a constructive approach to the negotiating process and commitment to the settlement principles.
The situation in Nagorno-Karabakh escalated on September 27, when Azerbaijan said its positions had come under extensive fire from Armenia. Armenia, in turn, said the Azerbaijani army had staged an offensive in the direction of Nagorno-Karabakh. It said a number of settlements in Nagorno-Karabakh, including its administrative center Stepanakert, had come under shelling by Azerbaijan. Both sides report casualties, including among civilians. Both Armenia and Azerbaijan have imposed martial law and announced mobilization.
The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the highland region of Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed territory that had been part of Azerbaijan before the Soviet Union break-up, but primarily populated by ethnic Armenians, broke out in February 1988 after the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region announced its withdrawal from the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1992-1994, tensions boiled over and exploded into large-scale military action for control over the enclave and seven adjacent territories after Azerbaijan lost control of them. Talks on the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement have been ongoing since 1992 under the OSCE Minsk Group, led by its three co-chairs - Russia, France and the United States.