Azerbaijan lays down three conditions for ceasefire
Azerbaijan’s President İlham Aliyev has demanded Armenia to set a timetable to withdraw from the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, to recognize the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and to apologize to the Azerbaijani people.
Aliyev on Oct. 4 stressed Baku’s determination to liberate Nagorno-Karabakh from Armenian occupation, as he criticized the international community for failing to take any action against Yerevan’s aggression.
“Karabakh is Azeri territory. We must return, and we will return,” he said in a televised address, adding that Azerbaijan had waited 30 years to recover its lands.
“Baku’s repeated calls for sanctions on Armenia went unheard,” Aliyev said, as he noted his country demands to know why the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the European Union did not punish Armenia for its crimes.
He continued by saying that Armenia must accept that Karabakh did not belong to it and set a timetable for the withdrawal of its occupation forces.
“Apologize to the Azerbaijani people and say that Karabakh is not Armenia,” Aliyev added.
Border clashes broke out on Sept. 27 when Armenian forces targeted Azerbaijani civilian settlements and military positions, leading to casualties.
The clashes are the worst since the 1990s, when some 30,000 people were killed, and are spreading beyond the Karabakh enclave.
Earlier on Oct.4, Azerbaijan said Armenian forces had fired rockets on its second-largest city of Ganja, killing one civilian and wounding 32, and also launched a missile attack on the Azeri industrial city of Mingachevir.
“Some 13 houses were completely destroyed and 51 houses were damaged due to the missiles hitting two separate points where the civilians lived,” a Hürriyet daily correspondent reporting from Ganja said.
The Azerbaijanis dug the land with their hands and took out their neighbors from the rubble, the report said.
Speaking to Hürriyet daily, 85-year-old Azerbaijani woman Binevşe Hayda said “everybody was thrown somewhere at once” when the blast occurred while a mawlid was given for deceased Azerbaijani soldiers.
The International Committee of the Red Cross condemned the reports of “indiscriminate shelling and other alleged unlawful attacks using explosive weaponry in cities, towns and other populated areas.”
Meanwhile, Armenian separatist forces in Karabakh reported firefights along the frontline and its capital Stepanakert under heavy artillery fire.
The two sides have reported 245 deaths since the fighting erupted, including 43 civilians, but the real total is expected to be much higher as both sides are claiming to have inflicted heavy military casualties.
The separatist entity has reported 202 deaths among its forces, while Azerbaijan has not released any figures on its military casualties.