Thousands of Armenians from Nagorno-Karabakh have fled since Azerbaijan’s blitzkrieg offensive. The Azerbaijani ambassador to France assures that these Armenians “voluntarily decided not to continue to live” in this region.
These are the Armenians “who voluntarily decided not to continue living in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. They had a choice”assured Monday October 2 on franceinfo Leyla Abdullayeva, ambassador of Azerbaijan in France, while thousands of Armenians from Nagorno-Karabakh fled the region.
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The Armenian ambassador, in particular, accuses Azerbaijan of engaging in “ethnic cleansing”. But, according to Leyla Abdullayeva, “we have to get out of fear, we have to get out of fantasy”because it ensures that“There is no war from Azerbaijan”.
franceinfo: What is happening?
Leyla Abdullayeva: I will give you two reliable points of reference: the Armenian Prime Minister declared on September 21 that there was no threat to civilians; The UN High Commission for Refugees said two days ago that it had not received information about mistreatment of Armenians who left the region. But, there is no war from Azerbaijan.
Yet thousands of people are fleeing Nagorno-Karabakh. How do you explain it?
These are people who have voluntarily decided not to continue living in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. They had a choice because the government of Azerbaijan offered them not to leave their place of residence. The government said it guaranteed rights, freedoms and security for the entire population of Azerbaijan, including the Armenian minorities who are in Nagorno-Karabakh.
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How do you then explain that we saw soldiers shooting?
Azerbaijani soldiers protect the sovereign soil of Azerbaijan, Karabakh is a sovereign territory of Azerbaijan. Everyone understands it. Everyone accepts it, including Armenia, including France, including the entire international community.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev declared a few years ago that the territories located in Armenia were Azerbaijani. Should we expect military actions in other territories?
We have to get out of fear, we have to get out of fantasy. Azerbaijan respects the territorial integrity of all countries. We have a statement from the leaders of both countries which shows that the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and Armenia has been respected.
“What Azerbaijan wants is to live in peace with its neighbors and with Armenia”
Leyla Abdullayeva, Ambassador of Azerbaijan to France
This is why Azerbaijan initiated the normalization process. President Ilham Aliyev said that historically Azerbaijanis lived in Armenia, but unfortunately on the eve of the fall of the USSR, 250,000 Azerbaijanis were expelled from their historical territory. That’s what we’re saying today. We are not saying that we want to invade Armenia. He said we were going to come back to Yerevan. We will do it by plane, we want to normalize our relations, live in peace with Armenia. The best guarantee for Armenia’s territorial integrity is to sign the peace treaty. Azerbaijan proposed a project.
The French Minister of Foreign Affairs will be in Armenia this Tuesday. What do you think of his visit?
Azerbaijan has cooperations in different spheres with several states. It is up to France to decide in which areas to continue cooperation.
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