In televised remarks aired on Tuesday, Aliyev reiterated that Baku will not hold any internationally mediated talks with the Karabakh Armenians. “The separatists must realize that they have two options: either they will live under Azerbaijani rule or leave,” he said.
The Armenian Foreign Ministry said the “hate speech” highlights Aliyev’s “intention to subject Nagorno-Karabakh’s population to ethnic cleansing.” It accused him of breaking a pledge to agree to an “international mechanism for addressing the Nagorno-Karabakh people’s rights and security guarantees.”
“Instead of looking for sustainable and lasting solutions to problems that have accumulated in the region for years, Azerbaijan is trying to advance its maximalist ambitions through the use of force and threats of force,” the ministry said in a statement.
The statement referred to Aliyev’s latest threats of fresh military action against Armenia also voiced on Tuesday. But it did not react to his demands that Yerevan officially declare that “Karabakh is Azerbaijan.”
Speaking in the Armenian parliament earlier on Tuesday, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian made clear that his administration unequivocally recognizes Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity. Pashinian’s political opponents said this is tantamount to recognizing Azerbaijani sovereignty over Karabakh.
Armen Khachatrian, a senior lawmaker representing Pashinian’s Civil Contract party, denounced Aliyev’s “unbridled” statement on Wednesday.
“It’s not Aliyev who can tell us what to do and how to do,” he told reporters. “Aliyev needs to realize that he cannot solve any issue by force.”
But Khachatrian did not say whether or not Pashinian will agree to explicitly recognize Karabakh as a part of Azerbaijan.
As recently as on March 30, Pashinian urged Karabakh’s leadership to negotiate with Azerbaijan while accusing Baku of planning to commit “genocide” in Karabakh amid its continuing blockade of the Lachin corridor.
Pashinian sparked angry opposition protests in Yerevan last year when he signaled readiness to “lower the bar” on Karabakh’s status acceptable to Armenia. He and other Armenian officials also stopped making references to the Karabakh Armenians’ right to self-determination in their public statements.