BAKU, September 30. /TASS/. Azerbaijan will stop military action in Karabakh, if Armenian forces withdraw from the region completely and unconditionally, Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev said during a meeting with injured servicemen in a hospital in Baku.
"The Armenian Prime Minister put forth seven conditions that we rejected. We have one condition: they must unconditionally, completely and immediately leave our lands. This condition stays, and, should the Armenian government fulfill it, the fighting will stop, there will be no bloodshed, the peace will come to our region," Aliyev said.
According to the president, "it’s not too late yet."
"I would like to say once again that Armenia must leave our lands immediately. The fighting is going on the Azerbaijani land, Azerbaijan is restoring its territorial integrity, and we have right to do that," Aliyev said.
The head of state underscored that Azerbaijan wants peace.
"We want a resolution of the conflict, or we wouldn’t have held our hopes for talks for 30 years. The only reason for our adherence to talks was hope. We were given hope, we were sent signals that said: have patients for a little bit, the issue will be resolved. But I said that we will never accept an occupation," Aliyev noted.
The situation in Nagorno-Karabakh escalated on September 27; battles go on at the disputed territory. Both Azerbaijan and Armenia enacted martial law and declared mobilization. Baku claims control of several Karabakh settlements and strategic heights. Yerevan debunks these statements and says territories of mainland Armenia are being shelled as well.
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.