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Armenia Sees Azerbaijan’s Advancement In Karabakh As ‘Ethnic Cleansing’


Armenian President Armen Sarkissian (archive photo)

Azerbaijan is seeking to take over the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh by annihilating its ethnic Armenian population, Armenia’s President Armen Sarkissian charged while meeting with a group of local and foreign politicians, public figures and journalists in Yerevan on Wednesday.

As quoted by his press office, Sarkissian stressed that “Azerbaijan’s claims that they are liberating their territories has, in fact, another internationally accepted formulation, which is called ‘ethnic cleansing’.”

“They are now destroying schools, hospitals, committing inhumane acts, taking away human lives: of the elderly, children and young people,” the Armenian president said, emphasizing that “Armenians have lived in Nagorno-Karabakh for thousands of years.”

Meanwhile, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said in an interview with the Italian La Republica newspaper that Baku will guarantee the security and better life for ethnic Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh.

“I have repeatedly said that all residents of Nagorno-Karabakh will continue to live there peacefully and with dignity. Armenians are our citizens,” Aliyev said, as reported by AzerTac state news agency.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev

“Thousands of Armenians live in various places in Azerbaijan, mainly in Baku. Armenians living in Nagorno-Karabakh can rest assured that their security will be guaranteed and that they will have a better financial situation and better life than today,” the Azerbaijani leader said.

The remarks by the two countries’ leaders came amid reports of fresh fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh where ethnic Armenian forces claimed to have repulsed two attacks by Azerbaijan troops in the southern direction on November 4 morning and afternoon, destroying several Azeri tanks and other materiel.

Azerbaijan, meanwhile, denied losing any tanks in the reported battles, on the contrary, claiming its successful operations, in particular, in the Khojavend (Martuni) direction. Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry denies its forces target civilians in Nagorno-Karabakh.

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