Azerbaijan promised the United Nations on Saturday that it would ensure equal treatment for ethnic Armenians from the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, which Baku swiftly retook after decades of separatist control.
“I wish to reiterate that Azerbaijan is determined to reintegrate ethnic Armenian residents of the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan as equal citizens,” Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov said in a speech to the UN General Assembly.
“The constitution, the national legislation of Azerbaijan and international commitments we have undertaken provide the solid ground to this end,” he said.
Azerbaijan in a swift operation on Tuesday regained control over the mountainous territory. The ethnic Armenian separatists agreed Friday to surrender their weapons in an agreement mediated by Moscow.
If the ceasefire holds, it could mark the end of a conflict between Caucasus rivals Armenia and Azerbaijan that has raged, off and on, through the three decades since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
“We continue to firmly believe that there is a historic opportunity for both Azerbaijan and Armenia to establish good neighborly relations and coexist side by side in peace,” Bayramov said.
Armenia, which is largely Christian, has accused mostly Muslim Azerbaijan of a plan of ethnic cleansing.