Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev again strongly criticized the international community on Wednesday for not helping Azerbaijan regain control over Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenian-held districts surrounding it.
In a speech at the UN General Assembly in New York, he also lashed out at Armenia, calling it a “corrupt” and “fascist” dictatorship and branding his Armenian counterpart Serzh Sarkisian as a “war criminal.”
Aliyev repeated Baku’s regular claims that Armenia has been ignoring the Karabakh-related resolutions adopted by the UN Security Council in 1993-1994 and trying to maintain the status quo.
“The question is how can this corrupt, failed state ruled by a despotic, medieval regime afford to violate international law for so many years and ignore the resolutions of the UN Security Council and statements of the leading countries of the world?” he said. “And the answer is double standards.
“There is no international pressure on the aggressor, no international sanctions imposed on the Armenian dictatorship. This policy must be stopped.”
“The international community must stop Armenian fascism and terror,” he added.
Aliyev, who is facing growing internationalallegations of corruption and criticism for harshly suppressing dissent in Azerbaijan, did not name any world powers allegedly backing Yerevan. He reiterated instead that “the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan must be completely restored” as a result of a Karabakh settlement.
Sarkisian ruled out such an option when he addressed the UN assembly on Tuesday. He stood by the official Armenian line that the Karabakh Armenians’ right to self-determination must be at the heart of any peace accord.
Sarkisian said Karabakh cannot be placed back under Azerbaijani rule not least because Aliyev’s regime is a “symbol of medieval backwardness.” “Azerbaijan has no legal and moral grounds to lay claim to Artsakh (Karabakh),” he went on. “Artsakh has never been part of an independent Azerbaijan.”
“Whatever variant of settlement we arrive at, the Republic of Artsakh cannot have a lower status and enjoy less freedom than it does now,” said the Armenian leader.
Peace proposals jointly made by the United States, Russia and France over the past decade call for a phased resolution of the Armenian-Azerbaijani dispute. It would start with a gradual liberation of virtually all seven districts around Karabakh that were occupied by Armenian forces in 1992-1994. In return, Karabakh’s predominantly ethnic Armenian population would be able to determine the territory’s internationally recognized status in a future referendum.
Aliyev and Sarkisian traded the verbal attacks ahead of a possible meeting in New York of their foreign ministers. The U.S., Russian and French co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group hope that the meeting will prepare the ground for an Armenian-Azerbaijani summit later this year.