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Yerevan Condemns ‘Azeri Territorial Claims’


AZERBAIJAN -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev attend a military parade in Baku, December 10, 2020.

Official Yerevan accused Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev of undermining regional peace and stability after he again described much of Armenia’s internationally recognized territory as “historical Azerbaijani lands” on Thursday.

Aliyev referred to Yerevan, Lake Sevan and Armenia’s southeastern Syunik province as he reviewed, together with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a military parade in Baku.

Mane Gevorgian, the spokeswoman for Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian, said the statement amounted to territorial claims to Armenia that “cast a serious doubt on Azerbaijan’s readiness for peace and endanger regional peace and security.”

In written comments to the Armenpress news agency, Gevorgian also denounced Aliyev’s claim that Baku achieved a military solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh with its victory in the recent Armenian-Azerbaijani war stopped by a Russian-brokered ceasefire on November 10. She said it only underscored the need for international recognition of the Karabakh Armenians’ right to self-determination.

“These claims contradict the spirit and provisions of the November 9 trilateral statement [issued by the leaders of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan,]” she said.

Gevorgian also denounced Erdogan for praising during the Baku parade Enver Pasha, one of the masterminds of the 1915 Armenian genocide in Ottoman Turkey. “Such manifestations call into question Turkey’s statements, including on its readiness to foster regional peace and stability,” she said.

Speaking after the parade, Erdogan stated that Turkey could open its border with Armenia if Yerevan takes “positive steps” for regional peace.

According to Reuters, the Turkish leader said in that regard that he discussed forming a six-country regional cooperation platform with Aliyev. Armenia could participate in the planned regional platform along with Turkey, Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan and Georgia if it contributes to regional peace, he added.

Reports from Baku said that almost 3,000 Turkish troops marched across the Azerbaijani capital’s main square during the parade. Aliyev paid tribute to Turkey’s military and political support for Azerbaijan during the war.

“Taking part in this victory parade together we are again showing our unity, not only to our own peoples but to the whole world,” he said.

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