Baku to Pashinyan: Karabakh residents are Azerbaijani nationals
Baku considers such statements by the Armenian leadership as a non-constructive step aimed at undermining the negotiation process on the conflict settlement and maintaining the occupation status quo, Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry's spokesman Hikmet Hajiyev, commented on Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan's statement that the negotiations on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict cannot be effective without participation of the separatist regime
The Azerbaijani diplomat stressed that presence of the Armenian armed forces in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan and continuation of the occupation define direct international legal responsibility of Armenia as a party to the conflict.
"If the Armenian leadership is concerned that 'the agreements reached remain on paper', they should comply with requirements of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, which demand the immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of the occupying troops from the Azerbaijani territories," Trend cited him as saying.
Hikmet Hajiyev recalled the new Armenian leadership that the civil status of the Armenian community of Azerbaijan's Nagorno-Karabakh region has not changed. "Along with the Azerbaijani community of Nagorno-Karabakh, they continue to be the citizens of Azerbaijan," he pointed out. Recent processes once again "demonstrate that the Armenian community of Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region is under the captivity of an organized criminal group and mafia structure," the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry's spokesman said.
He recalled that Azerbaijan has more than once openly and unequivocally expressed its position on the negotiation process.
"Azerbaijan is ready to continue talks on the basis of the existing format and agenda with the aim of finding an early solution to the conflict and ensuring sustainable peace and security in the region," Hajiyev stressed. "The aim of the talks is to ensure the withdrawal of Armenian troops from the occupied Azerbaijani territories and the return to their native lands of Azerbaijani IDPs subjected to ethnic cleansing," he noted.
The Armenian side must understand that holding negotiations with occupant Armenia for over 25 years is Azerbaijan's biggest compromise, Hajiyev concluded.