Azerbaijan 'determined' to fight until Armenian troops leave Karabakh

Published September 30, 2020
Military trucks are seen on the side of a road near the village of Zangakatun in Armenia on September 30, 2020. — AFP
Military trucks are seen on the side of a road near the village of Zangakatun in Armenia on September 30, 2020. — AFP

Azerbaijan on Wednesday vowed to pursue military action against Armenian separatists in the breakaway Nagorny Karabakh region until a full Armenian withdrawal from the disputed territory.

Armenian and Azerbaijani forces are engaged in the heaviest fighting in years over Karabakh, an ethnic Armenian province that broke away from Azerbaijan in the 1990s during the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The long-simmering conflict erupted on Sunday with both sides blaming each other for the outbreak of violence.

“We only have one condition: Armenian armed forces must unconditionally, fully, and immediately leave our lands,” Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said in televised remarks.

If “the Armenian government fulfils the demand, fighting and bloodshed will end, and peace will be established in the region,” he added.

Earlier today, Azerbaijan's foreign ministry said in a statement that Baku was “resolutely determined to continue the counter-offensive operation until its sovereignty and territorial integrity is fully restored [...] (and) we clearly see the Armenian troops leaving the territory of Azerbaijan”.

On Wednesday, Armenia and Azerbaijan rejected international calls for a halt to fighting and negotiations.

Nearly 100 people are confirmed to have died in the flare-up and both sides are claiming to have inflicted heavy losses on opposing forces.

France expresses solidarity with Armenia

Meanwhile, France’s president voiced solidarity with Armenia amid its conflict with Azerbaijan over Armenian-occupied Upper Karabakh.

Claiming that it was Azerbaijan last weekend that started the conflict, Emmanuel Macron called on Azerbaijan and Armenia to end the conflict unconditionally, adding that he had discussed this issue with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.

“I wanted these attacks to end. I explicitly condemned these disproportionate attacks,” he said in a news conference during a visit to Latvia.

“Something has been happening since July,” he added, evidently referring to the killing of three Azerbaijani soldiers and the wounding of four others when Armenia launched a border attack on July 12.

“It was determined that the attacks on Sunday came from Azerbaijan,” claimed Macron, adding: “Both sides must comply with the cease-fire.”

Border clashes broke out early on Sunday when Armenian forces in Upper Karabakh, or Nagorno-Karabakh reportedly targeted Azerbaijani civilian settlements and military positions, leading to multiple casualties.

He said he would also discuss the issue with United States President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“I have noticed the political statements made by Turkey [in favour of Azerbaijan], which I find to be inconsiderate and risky,” said Macron, a frequent critic of Turkey.

“France is concerned by the warlike messages from Turkey which is in favour of Azerbaijan’s reconquering Nagorno-Karabakh. And that we won’t accept it,” he added, not mentioning that the region is internationally recognised as belonging to Azerbaijan.

Macron said that Armenia's sovereignty and people should be respected, urging against any statements that would raise tensions.

International pressure for a ceasefire has mounted as fears grow that the conflict could escalate into all-out war.

Karabakh's declaration of independence from Azerbaijan sparked a war in the early 1990s that claimed 30,000 lives, but it is still not recognised as independent by any country, including Armenia.

Opinion

Pak-Saudi relations
Updated 17 May 2021

Pak-Saudi relations

Gulf states, led by Saudi Arabia, will be key to Pakistan’s economic recovery in a post-Covid context.
Cuisine and culture
17 May 2021

Cuisine and culture

There is a drive towards the creation of a ‘national cuisine’ landscape as well as greater insight into region-based diversity.
Cooperation or conflict?
Updated 17 May 2021

Cooperation or conflict?

The fear of an economic and technological rival has created insecurities being reflected today in US behaviour.

Editorial

Palestine bloodbath
Updated 17 May 2021

Palestine bloodbath

One wonders whether the right of self-defence allows a country to butcher toddlers and the disabled, as Tel Aviv has done in Gaza.
17 May 2021

Registering madressahs

DURING the past two decades, several attempts by successive governments to standardise and regularise madressahs ...
17 May 2021

LSM growth

THE robust growth in large-scale industrial output since July last year has generated a kind of economic optimism...
16 May 2021

Riyadh-Tehran thaw

SEVERAL official pronouncements over the last few days have confirmed that efforts are underway behind the scenes to...
16 May 2021

Ruthless evictions

FOR a state to deprive residents of their homes without providing for alternative housing for them is a dereliction...
16 May 2021

Wheat concerns

THE new official projections for provisional wheat output suggest that Punjab may harvest around 20.5m tonnes of...