Azerbaijan’s president vows to protect rights of Karabakh Armenians

Azerbaijan’s president vows to protect rights of Karabakh Armenians

President Ilham Aliyev pledged that Azerbaijan would protect the rights of Armenians living in Karabakh, in line with the country’s laws and international obligations, according to Azerbaijan in Focus, reporting Daily Sabah.

During a meeting with a U.S. delegation, Aliyev emphasized that like other ethnic minorities living in Azerbaijan, Armenians’ rights would be ensured within the framework of the country’s legislation and international obligations, Azerbaijan’s presidential office said in a statement.

Aliyev received the U.S. president’s special representative and administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Samantha Power, U.S. Acting Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Yuri Kim, and the U.S. State Department’s Senior Advisor for Caucasus Negotiations Louis Bono.

They exchanged views regarding the current situation in the Karabakh region, following the counter-terrorism measures.

The president said military equipment, ammunition, and military supplies had been seized, adding that military representatives accredited in the country and representatives of the U.N. Resident Coordinator Office had viewed the weapons and military equipment, the statement added.

The statement further said that Aliyev also said that civilians remained unharmed throughout the anti-terrorism operations, with the focus solely on targeting unlawful Armenian armed groups and military installations.

Aliyev mentioned that discussions about reintegration are in progress between Azerbaijan’s representatives and the Armenian population in Karabakh.

“Underlining that the work to restore the infrastructure in the area is being implemented, President Ilham Aliyev said that Azerbaijan had sent humanitarian aid to the Armenian residents,” said the statement.

Aliyev also expressed Baku’s readiness to arrange a visit by the U.N.Resident Coordinate Office, which is accredited in the country, to the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan in the near future.

Earlier this month, Azerbaijan launched a counterterrorism operation to “restore constitutional structure” in Karabakh, nearly three years after fighting a brief but brutal war with Armenia over the mountainous region.