Armenian government losing influence over Armenians living in Karabakh - President Ilham Aliyev

The Armenian government are losing their influence over the Armenians living in Karabakh, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev said in an interview with an Azerbaijani TV channel, in Basgal settlement on August 12, SİA reports.

"It is a reality. Conversely, the Azerbaijani government is increasing its influence. This is a reality. I believe the reason for this is the fact that the Armenians living in Karabakh clearly see that the Armenian leadership is incapable of solving their problems – security, economic, finance or anything else. It is not able to solve any problem. On the contrary, they saw that the Azerbaijani government is treating them as its own citizens. I have said this before, this is not the first time I am saying it. The Armenians living in Karabakh are our citizens. The sooner they realize this and the process begins, the better for all of us.

Today, there is no Karabakh issue on the agenda of the normalization process between Armenia and Azerbaijan. There were such attempts, but I never agreed to that. What does Armenia have to do with it? This is our own affair. There is no talk of a status at the negotiating table now. What is being discussed? The rights and security of the Armenians living in Karabakh. I have said yes, their rights and security will be ensured by the state of Azerbaijan, and I always do what I say. We saw this during the construction of new Lachin road. I can say that when we started building this road, the Russian peacekeepers were somewhat protecting our construction workers from the local population, or them from us, from our construction workers. I don't know who they were protecting, but they were there. After a while, they left, and for the last six to seven months, there was not a single Russian peacekeeper along the road at all. There was no need for them. Our construction workers were in contact with Armenians living in the villages there, some of them even came out to help and expressed their gratitude to us for building such a high-quality road. There has never been such a quality road in the history of Armenia, let alone Karabakh. The roads they have built are already falling apart less than a year later. So these contacts are already taking place. And this is very important – I welcome them. People-to-people contacts will contribute to lasting peace," said the head of state.

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