Baku denies Nagorno-Karabakh ethnic cleansing claims

Hajiyev stated discussions with the ethnic Armenians had been productive and centred on disarming its navy (Emmanuel DUNAND)

Azerbaijan denied accusations of ethnic cleaning to clear the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh of its ethnic Armenian inhabitants, and instructed AFP its inhabitants had been free to remain or go.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has a number of occasions accused Azerbaijan of ethnic cleaning because the enclave’s decades-long push to interrupt away from Azerbaijani rule led to sudden defeat on September 20.

On Saturday, Pashinyan stated greater than 100,000 of Nagorno-Karabakh’s estimated 120,000 inhabitants had fled to neighbouring Armenia.

“We can not settle for accusations of ethnic cleaning or genocide,” Hikmet Hajiyev, diplomatic advisor to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, instructed AFP in an interview Saturday.

“Ethnic cleaning is a forceful motion, when someone is utilizing drive in opposition to civilians — (which is) what precisely Armenia used in opposition to us, 30 years in the past.”

“Nevertheless it doesn’t suggest we’ll repeat the identical. There was no single case of violence or atrocity in opposition to civilians. They attest this themselves,” Hajiyev claimed.

“And there have been no ‘Armenian’ residents in Karabakh,” he added.

“We all the time thought-about them as Azerbaijan residents however sadly an unlawful separatist entity did not enable us to have direct communication with them,” he stated, of the ethnic Armenian separatists who ruled the enclave for 3 a long time.

He stated Azerbaijan had “engaged inner safety troops to coordinate with the so-called native Armenian authorities”.

“They’re nonetheless in charge of the cities,” he stated.

– ‘Re-integration’ talks –

Nagorno-Karabakh’s ethnic Armenian authorities agreed on Thursday to dissolve their authorities and permit the primarily Christian enclave to turn into a proper a part of majority-Muslim Azerbaijan by the top of the 12 months.

Baku and the separatist leaders are to carry talks on the transition in Stepanakert on Monday.

Hajiyev stated discussions with the ethnic Armenians had been productive and centred on disarming its navy.

Armenia has accused Azerbaijan of illegally arresting folks and says the enclave’s inhabitants are fleeing out of worry of reprisals.

Hajiyev stated Azerbaijan had detained “5 to 6” individuals who it accused of “struggle crimes”.

“We all know that there have been considerations in Armenia and worldwide media that we’ll arrest all militaries,” he stated.

“They’re free. If someone places downs his gun, they’re free they usually have selected their very own option to go to the republic of Armenia.”

As for civilians, “we opened the gate and revered their freedom of motion, freedom of alternative”.

“Nearly all of them are saying: ‘I can not reside beneath the flag of Azerbaijan’. I can not justify it, however I can perceive and respect that.

“In the event that they settle for Azerbaijan citizenship, we’ll shield and guarantee their rights and their safety and we’ll set up a municipality system in order that they’ll govern their affairs at an area degree, and non secular and cultural rights can be assured.”

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