NEW YORK (RFE/RL–UN)–Azeri Prime Minister Ilham Aliyev scolded the international community late Wednesday for its "indifference" to his country’s grievances against Armenia which he accused of sponsoring terrorism.
The charges–voiced at a session of the UN General Assembly in New York–were dismissed as pre-election rhetoric by leading Armenian politicians the next morning.
Prime Minister Aliyev said Azerbaijan had fallen victim to aggression–occupation–and terror unleashed by Armenia–and that its appeals to the international community to unite in efforts in combating terrorism went unheeded. "Ten years have elapsed since the Security Council adopted four resolutions–demanding the immediate–complete and unconditional withdrawal of the Armenian occupying forces from Azerbaijani territories," he said.
"Azerbaijan has on many occasions declared its commitment to the peaceful settlement of the conflict on the basis of norms and principles of international law. We are determined to continue with our efforts in this direction and we count on the active participation on the part of the international community."
The four resolutions were adopted in 1993-94–at the height of the bitter war for Karabagh. They called for the withdrawal of Karabagh Armenian forces from occupied Azerbaijani territories and an immediate end to hostilities. But they made no mention of Karabagh–and its future status.
Aliyev–whose ailing father–President Heydar Aliyev–is expected to step down after the October 15 presidential election–renewed long-standing Azerbaijani allegations that Karabagh and other disputed regions "seized as a result of foreign aggression and separatism" are hotbeds of international terrorism–and that it impossible to "resolve conflicts throughout the world–including in the South Caucasus–under conditions of the continuing practice of terrorism–and support for it on the state level," he added.
Such allegations have never been endorsed by any other state–including Turkey–or major international organizations.
In Yerevan–meanwhile–leaders of Armenia’s main political groups said Ilham’s tough talk is merely aimed at creating his domestic image of a strong leader capable of asserting Azerbaijani interests in the Karabagh conflict.
The younger Aliyev’s victory in the presidential ballot is seen as a forgone conclusion by many observers. The unresolved conflict will be one of the 41-year-old leader’s most daunting challenges. International mediators plan make a fresh bid for peace after the Azerbaijani election.