Ilham Aliyev: "The issue of reintegration depends on when the Armenian residents of Karabakh will be able to get rid of the military junta that took them hostage"

23.07.23 22:10

On July 21, 2023, the Shusha Global Media Forum on the theme "New Media in the Era of the 4th Industrial Revolution" was held in liberated Shusha. In addition to its main theme of global changes in industry, technology and economy, the media forum also touched upon the issue of peaceful settlement between Azerbaijan and Armenia, as well as the reintegration of the Armenian population of Karabakh into a united Azerbaijan. Therefore, a very interesting question to the President of Azerbaijan from Georgian expert, political scientist Gela Vasadze, who participated in the forum about Karabakh Armenians, and Ilham Aliyev's answer to it was very interesting.


Gela Vasadze: "I completely agree with you that there are a few steps or one step left to Peace. But lasting peace largely depends on how far the process of integration of the Armenian population of Karabakh will go, when I am told about the people. I, often speaking to my friends, have asked them "Give me the phone number of this people". You found the phone number of Karabakh Armenians, do you know that phone number?"


In response to Gela Vasadze's question about the reintegration of Karabakh Armenians, President Ilham Aliyev gave a rather detailed answer, in which he emphasized Azerbaijan's good will and at the same time the unwillingness of the Armenian side, primarily the "Artsakh" separatists holding Karabakh Armenians hostage, to enter into constructive negotiations:


"If you trace the chronology of all our actions, even if you go to the beginning of the Second Karabakh War, you will see the logic and very strong arguments in their rightness. We didn't do anything for which we would be ashamed or would say, 'Yes, we are wrong here'. We did everything right.


"We gave a chance, including to the Armenian leadership before the Second Karabakh War for two years, but they didn't take it. We gave a chance during the time when the Lachin-Khankendi road was just a 'passing yard' through which Armenia transported mines that were produced in Armenia in 2021. And we opened these mines, we found them. We invited representatives of the Russian peacekeeping contingent, as well as representatives of the Russian-Turkish monitoring center, which is located in Aghdam, demonstrated them and asked: "How did these mines get to Karabakh? Who brought them? And who watched them?". But it is impossible for us to die after the Victory on our own territory, because Armenia continues to terrorize".


Regarding the re-integration of Karabakh Armenians into Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev said: "Now the issue of reintegration depends on when the Armenian residents of Karabakh will be able to get rid of the junta, which took them hostage and exploited them as slaves".


Referring to the blocking of the Aghdam-Askeran road by Armenians, Ilham Aliyev emphasized: "And why should cargo be delivered from another country? It is illogical. But instead of accepting this gesture, concrete blocks are put there. Who is blocking whom? So the whole question is this."


The Armenian side shouts to the whole world about the "genocide of Karabakh Armenians", although, in fact, it still keeps the indigenous inhabitants of Karabakh - Azerbaijanis, who, due to the total mining of Azerbaijani territories by Armenian occupants and separatists, are still unable to return to their homes.


If these people now return without demining their hometowns and villages, hundreds of thousands of civilians will die after the war. The occupants and separatists have mined everything they can. Ilham Aliyev also touched upon this problem, emphasizing that laying mines is a war crime:


 "Failure to provide mine maps is a continuation of Armenia's terror against us. We know that they have these maps, because that is how they lay mines. The sappers have a map because they themselves can blow themselves up on this mine. The Armenian Prime Minister personally informed us officially that they do not have such maps. Finally, they admitted that they have such maps" - said the President of Azerbaijan.


Ilham Aliyev added that Azerbaijan is making serious efforts to get rid of mines: "We have purchased equipment, brought special machines. One of our local companies has already started their production in Azerbaijan".


Noting that more than one million anti-personnel mines were planted in the liberated territories, the head of state emphasized: "The map provided to us by the Armenians covers approximately 400 thousand anti-personnel mines. That is, they admitted that they had installed more than 400 thousand mines. But we know that the number of mines is close to 1 million, and this is quite accurate information."


Noting that Armenian terror against Azerbaijan continues Ilham Aliyev said: "We have isolated undemined territories and access to liberated territories is still limited. This allows us to prevent casualties. However, if former IDPs return en masse, they should be very careful." Addressing the former IDPs, the Azerbaijani President urged them not to visit the territories where entry is still prohibited and demining is underway. "It is extremely dangerous," he emphasized.


If the Armenian side really wants peace and prevention of loss of life, it should immediately provide Azerbaijan with all maps of the minefields. This would be a real step towards reconciliation and would make the integration of Karabakh Armenians into a united Azerbaijan much faster and more successful.


 After all, it will be difficult to explain to people, Karabakh Azeris, that they should forgive Karabakh Armenians in everything and reconcile with them, while they and their relatives after decades of exile will be blown up on mines next to absolutely peacefully and safely living (and there is no doubt that there will be such a peaceful life) Karabakh Armenians who have taken Azerbaijani citizenship.




Grigol Giorgadze

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