Ilham Aliyev: Azerbaijan to embrace Karabakh’s Armenian citizens

Ilham Aliyev: Azerbaijan to embrace Karabakh’s Armenian citizens

Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev assured that his country would provide relief to Karabakh’s Armenian-origin residents and harbors no hostility against them, as he spoke in a televised address to the nation on Wednesday, according to Azerbaijan in Focus, reporting Daily Sabah.

“The Armenian population in Karabakh can now breathe easy. They are our citizens. We have no hostility toward the Armenian people. We held those at the top of the criminal regime accountable,” Ilham Aliyev said in a televised address to the nation.

He also said the process of disarming and vacating illegal Armenian armed groups from their positions in Karabakh was in progress.

“All assigned tasks (in Karabakh) were accomplished within a single day. Terrorists have been punished. Azerbaijan’s sovereignty is restored in the region,” he added.

Also, President Aliyev acknowledged the “unexpected political competence” displayed by Armenia and its importance in the anti-terror activities’ conclusion.

“Azerbaijan restored its sovereignty as a result of successful anti-terrorist measures in Karabakh,” Aliyev said in the televised address.

Aliyev claimed that most of the Armenian forces in the region had been destroyed and said the withdrawal of separatist troops had already begun.

Under the truce deal, the separatists said they had agreed to dismantle their army fully and that Armenia would pull out any forces it had in the region.

Azerbaijan’s defense ministry said that “all weapons and heavy armaments are to be surrendered” under the supervision of Russia’s 2,000-strong peacekeeping force on the ground.

Both sides said talks on reintegrating Karabakh into the rest of Azerbaijan would be held on Thursday in the city of Yevlakh.

Russian peacekeepers said Wednesday evening that the cease-fire was held and no violations were recorded.

Baku’s operation marked the latest spasm of violence over the rugged territory.

Meanwhile, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Aliyev held a phone conversation on Wednesday to discuss the situation in Karabakh.

Erdoğan reiterated Türkiye’s support for Baku to protect its territorial integrity.