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Iran Press TV

Aliyev rejects Russia's possible intervention in Karabakh conflict as 'Azerbaijan fights on own land'

Iran Press TV

Sunday, 01 November 2020 4:25 PM

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev says there is no reason for Russia to intervene in the ongoing conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh as Baku has "no plan" to conduct military operations against Armenia.

The Azeri leader made the remarks at a meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in capital Baku on Sunday, saying, "Azerbaijan is conducting military operations on its territory and has no military plans for the territory of Armenia."

Since September 27, a new wave of clashes – the worst in decades – has erupted between Azeri troops and Armenian-backed separatists of the breakaway region, with both Yerevan and Baku accusing each other of provocation.

The contested region, home to ethnic Armenian people, is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, but it has been under the control of Armenian-backed separatists since the early 1990s.

Hundreds of people have reportedly been killed, including many civilians, since the onset of the fierce clashes, with the international community repeatedly calling on both warring sides to agree to an immediate and unconditional truce. Four ceasefire attempts have so far failed.

Aliyev also said that Baku would agree to a ceasefire providing that the Yerevan-backed separatists stopped trying to take back territory recently retaken by Azerbaijani forces. "This is the main reason for continued fighting," he stressed.

His remarks came a day after Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan sent a formal request to Russian President Vladimir Putin "to begin urgent consultations for military assistance", noting that hostilities were getting closer to Armenia's borders.

Moscow has promised to provide Armenia with "all necessary assistance."

The request, which is expected to further escalate the conflict in the region, is the first under a mutual defense and security assistance pact that was signed between Armenia and Russia in 1997.

In Response, Aliyev said that there was no reason for Russia to intervene in the conflict because Azerbaijan is conducting military operations on its own territory and not that of Armenia; hence, there is no "legal basis" for requesting such support.

"No operations are carried out on the territory of Armenia and we have no such plans. If we had had such plans, we could have done it in July this year," Aliyev said.

Cavusoglu, for his part, reasserted Turkey's support for Azerbaijan, saying that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had told him it was "unacceptable" to leave Azerbaijan without assistance.

"Our President has instructed us not to leave brotherly Azerbaijan alone in this process, go to Baku on a regular basis and act together," the Turkish top diplomat said.

Separately on Sunday, the leadership of separatists in Karabakh accused Azerbaijani forces of striking civilian settlements, including the strategic town of Shusha.

"In the morning the enemy forces renewed offensive operations," the Karabakh army said.

This is while that Azerbaijani Defense Ministry accused Armenian forces of targeting its army and civilian settlements on Saturday and overnight.

So far, more than 1200 people from both sides have reportedly been killed in the persisting fighting. However, the death toll is believed to be significantly higher.

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