The Occupation in Figures
Nagorno-Karabakh: 1988-1992, territory 4400 km2; Shusha: may 08, 1992, territory 289 km2; Lachin: may 18, 1992, territory 1840 km2; Kalbajar: april 2, 1993, territory 3054 km2; Aghdam: july 23, 1993, territory 1150 km2; Fizuli: august 23, 1993, territory 1390 km2; Jabrayil: august 23, 1993, territory 1050 km2; Gubadli: august 31, 1993, territory 802 km2; Zangilan: october 29, 1993, territory 707 km2.

President Ilham Aliyev hints at possibility of autonomous republic in Nagorno-Karabakh

President Ilham Aliyev hints at possibility of autonomous republic in Nagorno-Karabakh

18.10.2016

APA. The settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is possible provided that areas surrounding the former Nagorno-KarabakhAutonomous Oblast are liberated, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyevtold Sputnik.

“A reasonable compromise is possible — ensuring security of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh, their livelihoods, local government, the implementation of various investment projects on the part of Azerbaijan and peaceful interaction between the two nations on the condition of liberation of territories outside Nagorno-Karabakh autonomous region, this is how wee see the settlement of the conflict. This overlaps with the proposals which are put forth by the co-chairs and which we’re currently working on," President Aliyev said.

The main reason that the conflict remains unsettled is that Armenia has been inhibiting any progress—even if it is the slightest in degree—by various means since the creation of the Minsk Group 24 years ago, he stressed.

According to the president, Azerbaijan’s position is that people should be allowed to live where they once used to live, because they had been living there for a long period.

“The Armenian population have been living there for 200 years, while Azerbaijan inhabited the region far earlier. But this is not all. In the town of Shusha, Azerbaijanis, who used to constitute 95% of the population, have been all forced out of their homes. This must be stopped,” added President Aliyev. “Let the Armenians live in Nagorno-Karabakh, where they have been living. We’re not opposed to it. But what did Armenia gain from the conflict? They caused millions of Azerbaijanis to suffer, but did they reach happiness themselves? Or maybe they developed further or achieved a more peaceful life? Of course, not. There can’t be development in this region except after relations with Azerbaijan are normalized. They will continue to live an anxious life, always awaiting something to happen. We want peace and our position is quite constructive. But we want our lands back, whereas Armenia wants peace without returning the lands which belong to others. That’s the difference.”

According to the president, there can be no compromise on the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, as Baku would never agree to Nagorno-Karabakh’s independence.

"We will never agree to the granting of independence to Nagorno-Karabakh. The Armenian side knows it too well,” said Ilham Aliyev. But there can be compromise on the issues of local self-government. In the future, if we manage to agree, it [Karabakh] may become an autonomous republic. We cannot comprise any more," he added.