Azerbaijan says conditions ‘created’ for Armenia peace deal

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Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said on Wednesday that conditions for a peace treaty with arch-foe Armenia had been “created,” adding that he did not want another war.

The two Caucasus neighbors and historical foes have fought two wars over the Nagorno-Karabakh region during the past three decades, with Baku retaking control of the territory in a one-day offensive last fall.

Peace talks—mediated separately by the European Union, the United States, and Russia—have sputtered, despite both countries saying an agreement could be signed by the end of last year.

“The most important thing today is that real conditions have been created for the signing of a peace treaty,” Aliyev said in a televised interview.

“That’s why we need to actively work on the text,” he said.

In December, the two countries swapped prisoners of war, which was seen as a first step toward normalizing relations. But numerous issues remain unresolved, and clashes break out regularly along the border.

Aliyev said he was “certain that there will not be a new war” with Armenia.

“I will do everything in my power to prevent it. Enough, enough of wars,” he said.

But he once again lashed out at France, accusing it of causing “the deterioration of the situation in the Caucasus” by “preparing (Armenia)” for a new war by providing it with weapons.

Earlier on Wednesday, Azerbaijan’s foreign ministry told Paris not to “intervene” in its internal affairs after Azerbaijan arrested a Frenchman on espionage charges in what France has called an “arbitrary” detention.

‘A good ally’

Aliyev also said that during the Second Karabakh War, the most frequent telephone conversations he had were with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“It is natural that the President of Türkiye was with us from the first to the last day of the war; his political and moral support for Azerbaijan was an important message to many people,” Aliyev said.

“Today, if our country faces a serious problem, the first person I will call and inform will be my brother Recep Tayyip Erdoğan,” he added.

Aliyev sent troops to Karabakh on Sept. 19, and after just one day of fighting, Armenian separatist forces that had controlled the disputed region for three decades laid down their arms.

Azerbaijan’s victory marked the end of the territorial dispute, which had long been seen as unresolvable and which led to two wars—in 2020 and the 1990s—that claimed tens of thousands of lives from both sides.

 

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