ISTANBUL (News.az)–Azerbaijan has again threatened to launch a new war against the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic if internationally mediated peace talks fail to yield a solution to its liking. The warning, the latest in a long chain of such threats, came less than a week after the Russian, French and American co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group visited Armenia and Karabakh.
The co-chairs met with the leadership of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic last weekend and held talks with President Serzh Sarkisian and Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian in Yerevan on Monday. They focused on a recently “updated version” of their basic principles for a Karabakh peace settlement. Armenia has so far declined to publicly clarify its response to the still unpublicized changes made in the so-called Madrid document.
Armenian leaders have said they continue to regard the so-called Madrid principles as “the basis for negotiations.” But they insist that no solution can deprive the people of Nagorno-Karabakh from their right to self-determination. Nagorno-Karabakh President Bako Sahakian similarly said this week that the independence and security of Nagorno-Karabakh are not up for debate or negotiation.
Azerbaijan, for its part, continues to rule out self-determination or independence for Nagorno-Karabakh, insisting that it be part of Azerbaijan. Official Baku has repeatedly threatened to invade Karabakh if its position is not expressed in the final peace deal.
Ramiz Mehdiyev, Azeri President Ilham Aliyev’s chief of staff, on Friday reiterated that warning, saying that Baku preferred to solve the Nagorno Karabakh conflict peacefully but would resort to “military intervention if necessary.”
“We may bring other means and military intervention to the table in the future if necessary and if these peaceful means failed,” Mehdiyev reporters at a press conference in Istanbul.
Mehdiyev said Azerbaijan was losing its patience with Armeni.
He also accused Russia and the United States of supporting Armenia in the settlement process, saying that Moscow had to be “more sincere” in its efforts to solve the conflict.
“If there had been no one behind Armenia, it would have withdrawn from Nagorno Karabakh,” Mehdiyev said.
The Azeri Chief of Staff is on an official visit to Turkey at the head of a diplomatic delegation to finalize an agreement with Ankara to lower Visa restrictions between the two countries.
Mehdiyev met separately with Turkey’s Parliamentary Speaker, Mehmet Ali Sahin, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Friday. He was later honored at a banquet hosted by Davutoglu.
The Anatolia News Agency reported that Mehdiyev discussed strengthening relations between Turkey and Azerbaijan as well as the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the Armenia-Turkey protocols during his meetings.