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Azerbaijan will ‘go all the way’ if Armenia does not leave its territories, president says

The situation with a continuous ceasefire and a frozen conflict does not suit Azerbaijan, the president said
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev Azerbaijani Presidential Press Office via AP
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev
© Azerbaijani Presidential Press Office via AP

BAKU, October 26. /TASS/. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev stated that Baku will "go all the way" if Armenia does not leave Azerbaijani territories.

"We will continue on our path. If they want a ceasefire, they should tell Armenia to leave our territories. If this does not happen, we will go all the way," Aliyev said in an address to the nation shown on AzTV state channel on Monday.

"This conflict should be resolved either militarily or by peaceful means. I made an offer: if you want the conflict to be resolved peacefully, alright, we’ll stop, but we should be told immediately that Armenia is leaving our territories, we should be provided with a schedule for an Armenian troop pullout. The situation with the continuous ceasefire and the frozen conflict does not suit us," he emphasized.

Aliyev also reproached countries that, according to him, speak in favor of a ceasefire while supplying Armenia with weapons.

On the evening of October 25, Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers approved a Nagorno-Karabakh humanitarian ceasefire brokered by the US, which was set to enter into force on Monday morning. However, both sides have accused each other of violating the agreement.

Renewed clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia erupted on September 27, with intense battles raging in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The area experienced flare-ups of violence in the summer of 2014, in April 2016 and this past July. Azerbaijan and Armenia have imposed martial law and launched mobilization efforts. Both parties to the conflict have reported casualties, among them civilians. Hostilities in the region continue despite the previously reached ceasefire agreements.

The conflict over 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.