YEREVAN (RFE-RL)–Armenia reacted sharply on Wednesday to Azerbaijan’s fresh threat to resume the war in Mountainous Karabagh if the long-running peace talks fail to restore its control of the disputed territory.
Armenian Foreign Ministry in Yerevan–Hamlet Gasparian–called into question Baku’s commitment to a peaceful resolution of the dispute effectively frozen a decade ago. "This once again demonstrates that–in fact–Azerbaijan has no desire to settle the Karabagh issue by peaceful means and is laying its hopes on a forcible solution," he said in a statement.
Gasparian warned that Azerbaijan will face "disastrous consequences" if it tries to win back Karabagh by force. The statement came in response to the latest warning by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev that his country is losing patience with the deadlocked peace process.
"If the path of negotiations leads us nowhere–Azerbaijan will use all other means available–including the military option," Azerbaijani media quoted Aliyev as telling Azerbaijani ambassadors abroad on Tuesday. "International law is on our side. Economic potential and other issues are also in our favor. . . Sometimes we hear recommendations about compromises. But I have repeatedly said that there can be no compromise on the issue of territorial integrity."
Aliyev’s foreign minister Elmar Mamedyarov–in a newspaper interview published in Baku on Wednesday–vowed–however–to strive for a peaceful settlement "to the end."
"I believe that a military solution is not the best way to settle the conflict," he said. "I believe that that possibilities for a peaceful resolution of the problem have not been exhausted."