Azerbaijan Says It Wants Peace, But Is Ready to Respond to Threats
Kalbajar is one of the formerly occupied regions returned to Azerbaijan in the fall of 2020. Image: Wikimedia Commons
(Reuters) Azerbaijan is “in favor of peace and normalization of relations,” but at the same time ready to respond to any threats, a spokeswoman for Baku's Foreign Ministry said Thursday.
“Azerbaijan is not in favor of tensions,” Leyla Abdullayeva told Anadolu Agency.
“We are in favor of peace and normalization of relations. But if there is a threat to Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity, we will respond decisively to these threats,” she added.
Azerbaijan has accused Armenia of "large-scale provocations" in recent days, saying saboteurs planted mines and Armenian forces carried out “intensive” firing on Azerbaijani positions.
Following the recent flare-up in the region, Türkiye reiterated its support to Azerbaijan.
On Wednesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Ankara views the latest border tension as Armenia's violation of the November 2020 deal ending the second Karabakh war.
Rejecting Armenian allegations, the spokeswoman said: “The reality is that the Armenian army opened fire on the positions of the Azerbaijani army on Sept. 12 and attempted to lay mines in the lands between the positions. The Azerbaijani army gave the necessary response to this.”
Stating that Azerbaijan proposed a peace deal to end the second Karabakh war, she said: "The Azerbaijani government allocated millions of funds from the budget for the reconstruction of the liberated areas."
At the end of the war, Azerbaijan liberated more than 300 settlements and villages.
The spokeswoman further said: "Airports are being built, major infrastructure projects are being carried out (in those regions).
“Efforts are being made to ensure that people who have been away from their homes for 30 years return as soon as possible. People have returned to the village built in Zangilan.”
Relations between the former Soviet republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied "Nagorno-Karabakh," also known as Upper Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan.