Armenia has lost the chance to become an independent country, the Azerbaijani president said on Thursday.
“They lost the chance to become an independent country. They became totally dependent, kind of a colony of another country, and now maybe other countries. So, they lost their chance to become really independent and to build their future, because of aggression against us,” Ilham Aliyev said at the 10th Global Baku Forum.
He expressed hope that other international actors will persuade Armenia to strike a peace agreement with Azerbaijan.
Aliyev also reminded the five principles he presented to Yerevan last year, which he said, “could be a basis for a peace agreement with Armenia.”
Baku's five principles call for mutual recognition of sovereignty and territorial integrity, relinquishing territorial claims against each other, refraining from threatening each other's security, setting borders and establishing diplomatic relations, and opening transportation and communication lines.
Aliyev further said that Armenia pursued a “policy of ethnic cleansing against Azerbaijanis and expelled them from Karabakh and created sufferings for a million Azerbaijanis.”
“But my message is that we took revenge on the battlefield. We did not commit any war crimes, unlike Armenians. We did not commit genocide, unlike the Armenians did to us. And we took revenge on the battlefield. So, now it's time for peace,” Aliyev added.
Relations between the two former Soviet republics have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan.
In the fall of 2020, in 44 days of clashes, Baku liberated several cities, villages, and settlements from Armenian occupation, ending in a Moscow-brokered truce. The peace agreement is celebrated as a triumph in Azerbaijan.
Source: Anadolu Agency