BAKU – Baku is ready to establish normal relations with “sensible forces” in Armenia if they come to power, Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev said in an address to the nation following the restoration of Baku’s control over the Adgam region.
“Armenia is currently going through a domestic crisis, which is natural because a military defeat, let alone such a humiliating one, may lead to protests in any country. If sensible forces come to power in Armenia after the crisis is over, we will be ready to establish normal relations with them,” Aliyev pointed out. According to him, it will be possible if Armenia “makes the right choice and improves relations with its neighbors.”
“As the country’s President and Commander-in-Chief, I am interested in making sure that animosity ends in our home region of South Caucasus and normal business relations are established,” the Azerbaijani president noted. “I said during the war that we have no issues with the Armenian people. We did not carry out an ethnic cleansing against them like they did against us. We did not destroy their historic sites, we protect them,” Aliyev stressed.
Renewed clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia erupted on September 27, with intense battles raging in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The conflict over the disputed territory, 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.
On November 9, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan signed a joint statement on a complete ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh starting from November 10. The Russian leader said that Azerbaijan and Armenia would maintain the positions that they had held and Russian peacekeepers would be deployed to the region.