Armenians living in Karabakh will have no status, no independence and no special privilege - President Ilham Aliyev

The Armenians living in Karabakh will have no status, no independence and no special privilege, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev said in an interview with an Azerbaijani TV channel, in Basgal settlement on August 12, SİA reports.

"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.

I am returning to this main topic. One of the important consequences of these events is that Armenia is about to lose its influence, and the positive influence of the Azerbaijani authorities is growing and will continue to grow. The Armenians living in Karabakh should take the right step and understand that their future lies only in integration into the Azerbaijani society. It is not possible otherwise. We are living real life. From the point of view of economy, geography and transport, Karabakh is an integral part of Azerbaijan. From the point of view of history, from the point of view of international law, it is an integral part of Azerbaijan. If someone in Karabakh still talks about some status or independence, be it for the sake of some kind of populism or, as they say, because they are afraid of someone, one should know that they are the first enemy of the Armenian people. Because the Armenians living in Karabakh will have no status, no independence and no special privilege. They are the same as the citizens of Azerbaijan. Just as the rights of Azerbaijani citizens are protected, so are theirs. Just as the rights of the peoples living in Azerbaijan are protected, so are theirs. This is the only way. These events showed that we are showing understanding. We could have said no, 5 August is the deadline and that's it. Get out, we are coming and we will stand here. Who can ever stop us? No-one can stop us. Who can stop an army of 100,000 troops? The road of Lachin itself is right under our feet. We didn't do that. Why? Because they asked us. We also fine, let’s wait until the end of the month. You have probably heard that the local Armenians, i.e. the influential people, are telling those leaving not to set the houses of fire, not to dismantle the roofs, not to remove plumbing, not to take things away. I mean, they were saying this two years ago? No! Two years ago, they were proud of that. They would put certain things on their backs and carry them with tem, thus disgracing themselves in front of the whole world. But now they are saying that it is not your house. When did you come here? In 1994. Who lived here before then? Azerbaijanis did, so leave.

So this is the situation. I can say that almost two years have passed since the second Karabakh war, but notice how many changes have taken place over the two years. I am not even mentioning the restoration and reconstruction work we are still carrying out there. This is obvious. So many changes have taken place in consciousness. Thanks to what? Thanks to our correct policy. Because immediately after the war, I said that we need peace. We should start peace talks with Armenia. We haven't received a positive response yet, but I hope we will. A delimitation commission should be established. They also objected to that, but they eventually agreed. The Zangazur corridor is necessary, but they objected to it. We are expecting the route of the Zangazur corridor from them in the coming weeks. The Armenians living in Karabakh also saw that they can only benefit from Azerbaijan," said the head of state.

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