Azerbaijan’s President Ilham has again blamed Armenia for the deadlock in the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process and threatened to end the conflict by force “at any moment.”
“The war is continuing,” Aliyev said in a speech in Baku reported by Azerbaijani media on Wednesday. “We must be ready and we are ready to liberate our lands from occupiers at any moment.
“I want to once again state that this primarily requires a military might. We have for the most part created that might and this process is successfully continuing.”
“Today, the Azerbaijani army, Azerbaijan’s military potential allow us to do that,” he said. “We just want this issue to be resolved by peaceful means, by means of negotiations.”
Aliyev went on to accuse Armenia of “stalling for time” in the long-running peace talks mediated by the United States, Russia and France. “If negotiations are scuttled, a new situation will arise and the issue of solving the problem by military means will be included on the agenda.”
Armenian leaders say Baku itself is impeding further progress in the talks by rejecting peace proposals made by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in June. They have described those proposals as a “new version” of the so-called Madrid principles of a Karabakh settlement.
The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry has insisted that Russia drafted them single-handedly without consulting with the U.S. and French co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group. A ministry spokesman said late last month that they are unacceptable to Baku. He said the most recent Minsk Group proposal was submitted to the conflicting parties late last year and it was largely accepted by the Azerbaijani side.
Officials in Armenia and Karabakh have also repeatedly dismissed the Azerbaijani war threats. “The likelihood of large-scale hostilities is small,” Karabakh President Bako Sahakian said on July 30.