Azerbaijan president says will end military operation if separatists ‘lay down arms’

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Azerbaijan’s president said his country’s operation in Nagorno-Karabakh will end if Armenian separatists “lay down their arm”.

“The head of state said the antiterror measures will stop once the weapons are laid down and the disarmament happens,” Azerbaijan’s presidency said in a statement of head of state Ilham Aliyev’s call with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

On Tuesday, Azerbaijan deployed military forces, supported by artillery strikes, into the Armenian-administered Nagorno-Karabakh region. This action represents an effort to exert control over the breakaway area through force, escalating the potential for a new conflict with neighboring Armenia.

Nagorno-Karabakh, located in the mountainous South Caucasus region, is officially recognized as Azerbaijani territory under international law. However, a portion of the region is under the governance of separatist Armenian authorities who claim historical ties to the area as their ancestral homeland.

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Aliyev “pointed out that the reconnaissance-subversion groups of Armenia’s armed forces in the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan had planted mines to perpetrate acts of terror, as a result of which civilians and police officers were killed, and the units of Azerbaijan’s army came under fire from mortars and small arms of various calibers.”

He added that “these actions, including the so-called ‘presidential elections’ in the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan on September 9, were a continuation of deliberate provocations against the sovereignty of Azerbaijan by Armenia and the so-called separatist entity established and supported by it.”

Azerbaijan’s president said: “To prevent such provocative and inciting actions, Azerbaijan had to launch local anti-terror measures in the region.”

The US State Department said Blinken urged Azerbaijan to cease military actions in Nagorno-Karabakh immediately and deescalate the situation. Blinken emphasized that there is no military solution and that the parties must resume dialogue to resolve outstanding differences between Baku and ethnic Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Read more:

Azerbaijan urges Armenian separatists to lay down arms

Six killed in Karabakh mine blasts, Azerbaijan says

Russia calls for stop to bloodshed in Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict

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